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Upstream Processes

Lean often uses the analogy of running water.

Making products move quickly and effortlessly is described as flow. Flow is often likened to straightening out a meandering river into a smooth, straight channel.

The processes that get those products and services to the customer are known as the value stream.

‘Upstream’ takes that analogy further. The term describes internal supplier processes, or those closer to the beginning of the value stream. Downstream processes are the ones that are closer to the customer.

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