Understanding “Waste” is an integral step to your lean journey. Some have 7 wastes, however, I teach 8 wastes. I remember them by the acronym “DOWNTIME.”
The first waste is “DEFECTS.” Defects include making bad parts, scrap, and/or doing rework. Causes include a lack of in-process checks, incapable equipment, poor quality materials, poor product design, inadequate training, or poor work instructions. Each time a defect is passed onto the next process, it takes 10x more money to solve the defect.
The second waste is “OVERPRODUCTION.” Overproductions means making more products than the next process (the customer) needs. Causes include just-in-case thinking, misuse of automation, long set-up times, inadequate forecasting, & keeping busy.
The third waste is “WAITING.” Waiting includes idle time created when waiting for materials, machines, inspection, & information. Causes include an unbalanced work load, equipment breakdown, upstream quality problems, & imbalances in scheduling. Waiting is very difficult for everyone! William Feather said, “The hardest job of all is trying to look busy when you’re not.”
The fourth waste is “NON-UTILIZATION OF TALENT.” It is no secret that some people are talented in certain areas where others may not be as talented. If we ignore this basic truth, we are creating waste. As managers, we must discover talents, with persistence develop it to the extent leading to perfection and dedicate it for best use within our facilities.
The fifth waste is “TRANSPORTATION.” Excessive Transportation includes the movement of product and materials from place to place. Causes include poor plant layout, large batch sizes production, & storage.
The sixth waste is “INVENTORY.” Unnecessary Inventory will include any inventory other than what is needed right now to satisfy the customer is considered waste. Causes include making extra in case of scrap, reward based on output only, scheduling not leveled, poor market forecast, & supplier problems.
The seventh waste is “MOTION.” Unnecessary Motion means any movement of people that does not add value to the product or service. Causes include poorly designed process, lack of standard work methods, poor work area design, & disorganization and clutter. A good rule is to eliminate the “Ugly INGs.” These include: Searching, Lifting, Bending, Choosing, Carrying, Arranging, Walking, Stretching, Reaching, etc.
Now go out into your facility and take a “WASTE WALK.” Don’t forget to have fun!