Eight Wastes

Eight Wastes

Lean philosophy dictates anything that does not add value to a process or product, or that the customer is unwilling to pay for, is waste and should be eliminated. Each step of a process in the production of a good or service either adds value or waste to the end product. Ultimately, the elimination of waste increases an organization’s productivity and profit.

The 8 wastes within the Lean philosophy are discussed below along with office and manufacturing examples.


Waste
Definition
Office Example
Manufacturing Example
DefectWork that contains errors or lacks something necessary• Incorrect information being shared
• Data entry errors
• Forwarding incomplete documents
• Scrap
• Rework
• Missing parts
Overproduction
Producing more materials or information than customer demand• Creating reports no one reads/needs
• Making extra copies
• Providing more information than needed
• Producing more products than demand
• Batch process resulting in extra output
• Having a “push” production system
Waiting
Idle time created when material, information, people or equipment is not ready• Ineffective meetings
• Waiting for meetings to start
• Files awaiting signatures/approvals
• Waiting for tools, parts, information
• Broken machines waiting to be fixed
• Raw materials not ready
Not Utilizing Talent
Not, or under, utilizing the talent of employees• Insufficient training
• High absenteeism and turnover
• Inadequate performance
• Employing people in the wrong position
• Not fully training employees
• Missing improvements by failing to listen to employees
Transportation
Movement of materials or information that does not add value• Hand carrying paper to the next process
• Delivering unneeded documents
• Going to get signatures
• Moving products around before shipping
• Moving product from different workstations
• Moving inventory around to take stock
Inventory
Excess materials on hand that the customers or employees do not need right now• Purchasing excessive office supplies
• Searching for computer files
• Obsolete files or office equipment
• More finished products than demand
• Extra materials taking up work space
• Broken machines sitting around
Motion
Movement of people that does not add value• Searching for files
• Walking/reaching to get materials
• Sifting through inventory to find what is needed
• Reaching to make adjustments
• Walking to get a tool multiple times
• Repetitive movements that could overwork/injure an employee
Extra Processing
Efforts that do not provide value from the customer's perspective• Unnecessary signatures on a document
• Making more copies of a document than will be needed
• Saving multiple copies of the same file in multiple locations
• Adding unneeded value to a product
• Using a more high-tech machine than needed
• Extra steps to correct avoidable mistakes