Product Families from Summa’s Perspective
Summa Platform A
Epsilon Fuel Pumps
Eclipse Engine Computers
Because the product family is defined from the vantage point of the final step mapped, the concept is essentially “fractal”. That is, you can define product families from many starting
points and map backward up value streams of varying lengths. For example, what appears to be a product family for an armature manufacturer (large armatures for alternators) is simply one of many component parts for an alternator producer (who might define a product family
as large alternators). And the large alternator is just one component among many from the standpoint of the auto assembler who defines product families in terms of vehicle platforms.
As you select your start point and move back upstream, it is best for your first map to follow the path of a single family and a single component in the product. This is because the first objective of extended mapping is to achieve a breakthrough in shared consciousness of waste and to identify systematic opportunities for eliminating the waste. It is highly likely that the wastes identified by following one component back upstream will occur in roughly equal measure in every component going into the finished product. The alternative approach of mapping the value stream of every component going into the product is time consuming and costly and we have found that it overwhelms managers with too much data.
In subsequent rounds of mapping — if the collaborators in the mapping process find ways to work together and achieve useful results — additional maps can be created for many or all of the components and parts going into a finished product. But to get started, keep it simple and focus first on achieving a breakthrough in raising your team’s consciousness!
PART I: GETTING STARTED