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■Definition of VA/VE

VA (Value Analysis) and VE (Value Engineering) together represent a method of analysis designed to ensure that the company can give its customers greater added value. In VA, the value chain is used as the basis by which to understand the strengths/weaknesses of the company and its competitors, and to consider the distributions of manpower, material and financial resources in order to ensure a competitive edge for all business activities from research and development to after-service. To establish a sustainable competitive edge, it is necessary to conduct value-chain analysis and thus identify the functions that deliver customer value but can't easily be copied by competitors.

Contrastingly, in VE a value is understood in the relationship between the applicable function and the cost of implementing it. Thus we attempt to embody the optimal combination of function and cost to achieve greater value. VE was developed by General Electric in the U.S. in 1947 and was introduced to Japan in or about 1960.

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