Value stream mapping (VSM) is a tool that is used to create the most efficient process possible by including only value-added activities. It involves analyzing and mapping every step that is taken as the company tries to deliver value to customers. Ultimately, VSM has the power to improve the efficiency of your company’s sales process and generate more customers.
VSM involves mapping a target company’s production process to identify gaps, and then developing a tailored solution that will solve these specific problems. Since the solution is uniquely created to address the customer’s specific needs, the sales process will become much easier. The map not only identifies where gaps in the production process are located; it also allows you to see how these gaps relate to the other stages in the process and the full impact the gap has on the process overall. By using a map that represents the company’s current state, you can see where the company is currently losing value. You can also use a map that represents your plan for the future, illustrating goals you wish to achieve in terms of savings.
Many benefits can be derived from employing value stream mapping to improve the sales process:
• Lower costs and a faster sales cycle: Various types of waste that exist in the sales process can be reduced through VSM, including overproduction, inventory and waiting time, extra processing time, transportation of paperwork, and underutilized people.
• Customer satisfaction: By tailoring the solution to specific customers and using VSM to streamline value delivery, a company is able to set itself apart from competitors and win over loyal customers in their target market. By creating a solid reputation for their solution, the company is also able to attract new customers.
• Recruitment of prospects: The map shows exactly how value will be delivered to the customer and how it can solve the problem they are having.
• Identifying which areas are lacking: Then companies can focus on these areas as they develop their solution and sales pitch. If your solution has been mapped to solve a similar problem for another customer, then it is easy to demonstrate the value of your solution to the new customer as well.
• Tailored solutions: Solutions cater to the specific wants and needs of the customer.
• Optimize delivery of solution to customer: VSM takes the value creation process stage by stage, and by pairing up company activities to customer activities, it is possible to eliminate most of the waiting time and unnecessary inventory costs. This can potentially remove a great deal of non‐value added time from the sales process. Also, because each stage is so meticulously described, any problems with efficiency or effectiveness can be identified and fixed quickly and easily so that the customer gets exactly the solution they are looking for at the lowest possible cost.
By using value stream mapping to show companies the specific benefits of purchasing your unique solution, making sales becomes much more efficient and effective. Stay tuned for our next post to learn about some of the challenges that come along with with Value Stream Mapping.