Value Stream Mapping Symbols

Value Stream Mapping Icons

Some of the icons and symbols that are used in creating a value stream map are recognized as:

1. Process Symbols:

a. Customer/ Supplier

Customer Supplier

The supplier is represented at the upper left of the icon (placed at the starting point of the material flow), and the customer is shown as the upper right (placed at the end point of the material flow).

b. Dedicated Process

Dedicated Process

It shows a process, machine or an operation through which the flow of material takes place.

c. Shared Process

Shared Process

When the process operation or department is shared by other value stream families, it is shown using shared process icon.

d. Data box

Data Box

The data box is used with other icons and signifies the need for the analysis of the significant information and data.

e. Work-cell

Work Cell

It shows that multiple processes are integrated in the manufacturing work-cell.

2. Material Symbols

a. Customer/ Supplier

Material Customer Supplier

Material Customer Supplier

This symbol helps to show inventory between two processes. It is also used to show the storage of raw materials or finished products.

b. Shipments


The movements of raw materials between suppliers and receiving docks and finished products between factory to customers are shown using this icon.

c. Push Arrow

Push Arrow

The pushing of material between different processes, when the need from the downstream process has not occurred is shown using push arrow.

d. Supermarket


It is the symbol used for kanban stock-point. It is generally used to reduce overproduction and put a limit on the total inventory, when the production takes place in batches.

e. Material Pull

Material Pull

This symbol shows physical removal and connects the supermarkets with the downstream processes.

f. FIFO Lane


When the inputs are limited using a First- In- First- Out inventory system, this symbol is used.

g. Safety Stock

Safety Stock

The hedging of inventory against downtime, demand fluctuations or system failures is shown using the safety stock icon.

h. External Shipments

External Shipments

When external transport is used to ship raw materials from suppliers or finished goods to the customers, this symbol is used.

3. Information symbols

a. Production Control

The central production scheduling or control department is shown using this symbol.

Production Control

b. Manual Information

Manual Information

General flow of information from reports, memos or conversation is shown using this symbol.

c. Electronic Info

Electronic Info

The electronic transmission of information like electronic data interchange, local area network, wide area network are shown using this symbol.

d. Production Kanban

Production Kanban

When parts are provided to the downstream process, the supplying process is captured using the production Kanaban.

e. Withdrawal Kanban

Withdrawal Kanban

It shows the instructions about withdrawal and transfer of parts from supermarket to receiving process.

f. Signal Kanban

It is used when the amount of inventory in supermarket falls below the trigger level or minimum point.

Signal Kanban

g. Kanban Post

Kanban Post

It shows a location where Kanban signals reside for pickup.

h. Sequenced Pull

Sequenced Pull

Signaling to sub-assembly to produce predetermined product without the use of supermarket is shown using this symbol.



It shows scheduling using material resource planning or enterprise resource planning.

4. General Symbols

a. Kaizen Burst

Kaizen Burst

It shows the need for improvement at the particular process sto attain future state map of the value stream.

b. Operator


The need for an operator at a particular workstation is shown using this symbol.

c. Timeline


It shows value added times and non-value added times. These are used to calculate the total cycle and lead times.


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