Value Stream Maps: Improving Procurement of Ergonomic Office Equipment
- Marie A. Hayden (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) | Diana J. Schwerha (Ohio University)
- Document ID
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Professional Safety
- Publication Date
- May 2019
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 53 - 58
- 2019. American Society of Safety Professionals
- 6 in the last 30 days
- 7 since 2007
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- This article presents research that shows how value stream maps (VSMs) were used to document the procurement process for office equipment to establish better methods of helping users obtain equipment to reduce the risk of overuse injuries in their office jobs.
- The research consisted of two parts: 1) a survey to employees regarding office equipment; and 2) three focus groups with employees who were active in the procurement process. VSMs of the current process were created from the survey data and improved with focus group input.
- The benefits of using a VSM include obtaining user input, creating better documentation and offering recommendations to streamline the process.
- VSMs are recommended as a structured way for OSH professionals to obtain information about user needs and ways to improve processes to reduce workplace injuries.
Safety professionals use user-centered approaches in their everyday work to keep employees safe and healthy. Such approaches include walking the site (Gemba walks), conducting task analyses and seeking user input through formal or informal methods. While in small organizations obtaining information about processes and functions in need of improvement may be easy, large organizations pose a greater complexity because of their multiple departments and sometimes conflicting processes. In these types of organizations, a more structured approach is needed that allows for canvasing employees and understanding potentially differing methods or challenges.
Typical methods of obtaining user ideas include surveys or channels that allow anonymous suggestions. While these methods provide valuable information, a weakness is that they may consider the individual’s viewpoint singularly rather than within the larger organizational context. This is not a fault, but a potential risk of using those types of input.
For many years, lean manufacturing practitioners have used value stream maps (VSMs) to understand how a product flows through the system and as a method for identifying value and non-value-added steps. A VSM provides a visual representation of a system’s process by illustrating the various stages and cycle times of the process (Hofacker, Santos & Santos, 2012; Teichgraber & de Bucourt, 2011). VSMs track a product from its origin with the supplier through its arrival at the end user (Tan, 2001). Typical uses for VSMs include tracking a product through the manufacturing process or following it through the procurement process. A VSM includes processing, travel and wait times. Some VSM examples used for safety include the procurement process for endovascular stents in healthcare (Teichgraber & de Bucourt, 2011), a management process on hip procedure in healthcare (Simon & Canarcari, 2012), and construction procurement for a public building (Hofacker, et al., 2012). VSMs can be present or future; a future VSM applies possible solutions to implement waste reduction and reduce cycle time (Abdulmalek & Rajgopal, 2007; Hofacker, et al., 2012).
|File Size||245 KB||Number of Pages||6|