SIPOC is an acronym for the five primary components of a process: Supplier, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customer.

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The SIPOC provides a high-level view of the process that allows the team to define their process with needed inputs. In addition, it reveals the process boundaries and identifies the relationships between suppliers, the process and customers. All of these components are critical to clearly defining an optimization project.

This one-page map outlines:

  • What comes into and out of the processes

  • Who supplies the inputs and

  • Who receives the goods or services

The SIPOC helps to clarify the scope of the project with the team and stakeholders. You’ll use the SIPOC throughout the project as you build your understanding of the process.


How do I use the SIPOC?

Use the SIPOC as a starting point for building a more detailed Process Map, if needed. In some cases, the simple Process Map in the SIPOC is all you need. Review the Process Map on the SIPOC and ask, “Is it clear how to transform inputs into outputs?” If not, more detail is probably needed.

Another consideration is where the problem you’re trying to improve actually happens. If the problem is localized, not spread across the process, then the boxes where the problem occurs are good candidates for more detail.

When making the SIPOC, the most frequent mistake is making it too complicated. This is because there are only a few customers and suppliers in most cases and only a few inputs and outputs.

Focus on the inputs and outputs relevant to your project, avoiding things that do not impact your outputs. For example, nearly all departments have an annual review process, but this may have nothing to do with your project, so leave it out if not relevant.

Suppliers

The Suppliers are individuals or groups who provide information or materials that go into the process. They are always outside of the process. The people who work inside the process are never suppliers or customers—they are simply part of the process. There are usually only a few suppliers.

Inputs

The Inputs are what the suppliers feed into the process. There may be more than one input for a given supplier. If there are multiple suppliers, try to arrange the inputs, so it is clear which supplier provides each one. Equipment, databases, and other tools found within the process should not be listed as inputs. Inputs always come from outside the process.

Outputs

The process generates the Outputs. Sometimes they consist of inputs that the process has modified. For instance, the input would be “clothes to be cleaned” for a dry cleaning process, while the output would be “clean clothes.”

Customers

The Customer is the recipient of the output. If there are multiple customers and outputs, try to arrange them, so it’s clear which outputs belong to which customers. For example, sometimes, the customer is the same as the supplier for dry cleaning.

Process

The Process is shown at the bottom of the SIPOC and describes in six boxes or less how the inputs transform into outputs. These boxes are high-level, so don’t try to spell out every detail here.


Kure guides you through each step to create your SIPOC by asking simple questions and providing guidance along the way. Powered by our Process Optimization Path (artificial intelligence), Kure will help you and your teams collaborate to complete process improvement projects together.

Ready to build your SIPOC and start improving?

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