Lean Manufacturing - the 7 wastes - What Are They?
Listen to any Lean Practitioner and in a short time they’ll talk about Lean Manufacturing the 7 Wastes.
But What Are They?
What is the Waste that Lean specialists talk about and in particular what are the 7 types of waste. Listen closely and you’ll hear some talk of 8, even 12.
Within Lean Manufacturing the 7 Wastes are fairly well defined and they help us to classify types of waste; this helps firstly identify them, it gives clues as to what you should be looking for. It also helps us understand the impact they have. When it comes to
Lean Manufacturing the 7 wastes – what are they?
T – Transportation
I – Inventory
M – Motion
W – Waiting
O – Overproduction
O – Over-processing
D – Defects (Rejects and Re-work)
Many of these wastes go undetected in many organisations – how is this?
The waste we talk of is not physical. It is wasted time, wasted effort, this is just your wasted time and effort though.
Yes, you can lose time doing work that has to be re-done, going to another office for information, cutting and pasting data between software, waiting for decisions to be made etc.
For your client though they can waste time and effort trying to get you information only to find it is the wrong type or in the wrong format; or maybe you asked for the wrong information. Maybe your client is waiting for you to get back to them.
Sometimes the wasted time and effort delays the producer and the customer – this is often true in B2B work.
Now in coming weeks we’ll go into detail about each of these but right now a word of warning.
The TIMWOOD mnemonic is great for remembering the 7 wastes but remember IT DOESN’T reflect the hierarchy of waste – this changes with every business and every sector.
So for your business Rejects and Re-work (Defects) may be the greatest current issue, or maybe it’s Over-Processing.
Lean Manufacturing the 7 Wastes is a great place to start any lean journey but don’t get too hung up on getting waste in the right category – identifying you are wasting time and effort is a great first step. Quantifying it, is next.