Lean Snapshots: Spot seven types of waste

seven types of waste

In the realm of management, there are several approaches that aim to enhance and boost the operational efficiencies and revenues of businesses. Companies from around the world continuously strive to improve their operations by developing and adopting new strategies.

One of these strategies that are focused on improving efficiency is referred to as “lean manufacturing.”

Lean manufacturing is a comprehensive and strategic approach that seeks to enhance the competitiveness and profitability of businesses. It aims to bring about improvements by identifying and eliminating wasteful or unproductive practices and behaviors among employees and management.

This methodology can be effectively adopted by companies in various industries, including manufacturing, service, trading, and others. The objective of lean manufacturing is to ensure that the right things are delivered to the right places at the right time and in the right quantity while reducing waste and promoting productivity and flexibility among workers.

Lean manufacturing tackles the issue of waste, which is a common challenge faced by many businesses. It focuses on reducing the seven types of waste commonly found in companies worldwide. By eliminating these wastes, businesses can improve output quality, maximize production, and save costs.

The seven wastes targeted by lean manufacturing are:

  1. Overproduction
  2. Over-processing
  3. Transportation
  4. Motion
  5. Inventory
  6. Waiting
  7. Defects

Companies in the manufacturing and service sectors can lose money if they have too much production, too much processing, and too much inventory. Overproduction results in excessive inventory that can cause distribution problems due to limited warehouse space. It also leads to a drop in demand and prices due to an excess of supply. Over-processing consumes valuable time and resources and can result in increased costs.

Transportation and motion are critical components of manufacturing as they distribute goods to retailers and consumers. Lean manufacturing requires companies to optimize transportation, especially in light of rising oil prices. It also seeks to reduce procrastination and unproductive hours among employees to increase efficiency. By improving motion, the waiting time can be reduced or eliminated.

Finally, Lean Manufacturing believes that boosting employee efficiency and motivation will result in improved product quality. By doing this, resources are saved from being allocated towards creating items that won’t make the cut and would ultimately be rejected. Although scraps and defects are inevitable, companies that adhere to lean manufacturing can minimize them by motivating employees.

In conclusion, the seven wastes targeted by lean manufacturing are interrelated, and reducing one can lead to the elimination of others. This holistic approach is aimed at improving the competitiveness and profitability of businesses.

If you found this snapshot of lean manufacturing interesting, we encourage you to read the full article to learn even more about this powerful methodology. The full article provides a more comprehensive overview of lean manufacturing, including its history, key principles, and real-world applications. Click here to read the full article now.

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About the Author

Liviu Prodan

Liviu is an experienced trainer and LifeHacker. He’s been living the ‘Corpo life’ for more than 15 years now and has been a business developer for more than 12 years. His experience brings a lot of relevancy to his space, which he shares on this blog. Now he pursue a career in the Continuous Improvement & Business Development field, as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, a path that is coherent with his beliefs and gives him a lot of satisfaction.

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