What is value analysis? Why is value chain a critical business function? What are the advantages and disadvantages of value chain analysis?

Value Analysis is a theory that honestly underlines the most basic considerations of a business; am I profiting off my investment? In value analysis, one tries to calculate the exact function of every aspect of a product or service, then associate a cost with including said piece to a product, or perhaps one element of a service offered. Presumably, this is a great technique for a company to use, if they are intelligent enough to be aware of some intangible benefits of certain services or aspects of a product. To elaborate, consider Nordstroms store, they are known for returning customers money even if they will most likely be unable to sell the item in its now current condition. This is an aspect of their service that is certainly losing them money. With value analysis it would be easy to support your claim that they should no longer honor such ridiculously high standards of a return policy. However, one must also consider the elements that may not show up in a tangible statistic, this is brand loyalty, customer loyalty, word of mouth, and all the benefits of being an ethical company etc. So this is certainly a good tool in the hands of the proper user!