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Value Stream Management for SMEs

Based on the 'LEAN' and Value Stream Management (VSM) methodologies/principles of adding value and eliminating waste in business, which are commonly applied to large organisations, this project adapts and develops these methods for application to SMEs (initially in the polymer/plastics industry). The project's Value Stream Management for SMEs (VSMlite) will develop SME-specific tools to enable SMEs to benchmark their progress towards value-added production/activity and the elimination of unproductive/wasteful activity. SMEs will be surveyed to determine the infrastructural and cultural issues that affect the adoption of LEAN/VSM by SMEs. This survey will be accompanied by research into the training and skills requirements of SMEs, focusing on optimal ICT technologies for the delivery of training. The survey findings will be used to develop and adapt methodologies for application of LEAN/VSM to SMEs. A training curriculum will be developed, with training exercises considering the appropriate application of information and communications technologies, network support services and on-the-job facilitation of training in LEAN/VSM. The curriculum will be piloted in the partner countries among recruited SMEs under the 'Skillsnet' network. Web-based exercises will be employed as the primary means for delivering project training, accompanied by face-to-face training support. The curriculum and project deliverables will be released in all partner languages and will be made available via the project website and as printed material. The project will pursue accreditation for the developed training with certification bodies such as FETAC. Several end-of-project events will be organised in partner countries in order to disseminate the project results.
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