Why do we call it “value stream”?

3 comments on “Why do we call it “value stream”?

  1. I guess it’s obvious that if we call it “waste stream”, then it will rhyme better with the rest of the “negative” nature of an ordinary person…Things like “end of the bread”, even though you just opened the loaf, or “partly cloudy”, instead of party sunny & alike!

    You could call it “waste stream”, but I believe you will have less motivation to get out of the bed every morning to reduce the waste, vs. adding value! BTW, at Toyota, we did call it Value-Stream! For 20 years that I was there, at least! 🙂

    Hormoz Mogarei

    • It’s the first I hear from somebody associated with Toyota that they used this term. My assertion is based on Rother and Shook’s own statement in the introduction of “Learning to See,” the absence of “value stream” in the TPS literature and the Japanese literature on manufacting, and confirmation from multiple Toyota alumni.

      You were working for a supplier, and I suppose the supplier support people in the US may have used the term because of the popularity of “Learning to See.” In the US, even Fujio Cho occasionally spoke about “Lean Manufacturing.”

  2. MIchel,

    I first saw the materials and information flow diagram at a Toyota plant and it was only used by the supply chain engineers for their suppliers….there was no use of it at the Toyota plant itself….none. A3s galore and other visual tools but no VSMs. This was around 1995 when i was working with this plant and the certainly did not use the term value stream, first time I heard the term was with shook’s book, which was published much later. I worked at another Toyota plant and it was the same…..material and information flow for the suppliers only.

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