The process of Lean Six Sigma helps an organization highlight the 8 main kinds of waste that delay or slow down the production process. Finding out what they are and getting rid of them enables an organization to streamline their methods of production and get the best results while saving plenty of time.
- Waste as a result of defects
This is waste that comes from things like employing low skilled laborers to do a job, poor communication, incorrect information being as well as defective processes. Waste caused by defects can easily be dealt with by having an open line of communication, dealing with the correct information, employing skilled labor and updating equipment or tools used during work.
- Waste as a result of overproduction
When an organization is overproducing, it simply means they are making more than they should at a fast pace. This causes an inventory mess as they will have a massive pile of stock that isn’t being used. An example of overproduction can be buying a bulk of perishable products and not using them all to a point where some of them rot.
The best way to deal with overproduction is by making sure that there is a balance between supply and demand. This requires the doors of communication to be open as well as an organization making sure that make, purchase and produce products based on accurate estimates.
- Waste a result of waiting
This is the most common form of waste as it deals with things like waiting for deliverables, at queues or even transport. Waiting causes a great deal of stress and significant delays can make an organization and even people lose revenue. An organization can deal with waiting by hiring private transport for their deliverables and if someone is waiting for output on their co-worker, they can move on to other tasks.
- Waste as a result of not using talent properly
This is often called the 8th form of waste, in addition to the original 7 developed at Toyota. An organization can have a huge amount of waste on their hands if they don’t use the talents of their team properly. Not performing well in this department brings about what is known as opportunity costs. An organization might choose to retain such talents over upgrading its infrastructure and being competitive in their field. The best way to deal with this is by making sure that every team member knows their jobs and has something they are working on which suits their talents.
- Waste as a result of transportation
This is brought about by unnecessary placement and movement of materials or people from one place to another. One of the best ways of dealing with transport waste is removing any form of wasteful transportation. If a particular job can be done at home, for example, employees should be allowed to do it there. If a meeting can be held over Skype via video conferencing, let it be done.
- Waste as a result of poor inventory management
Inventory waste is any materials that have no purpose or haven’t been used during the production process. An example of inventory waste can be ordering 70-floor tiles to upgrade a bathroom while only needing 35 tiles. Dealing with inventory waste is very simple, money should only be spent on things that their utility and purpose can be justified. Another way is by estimating the requirements and need accurately to avoid breaking the bank.
- Waste as a result of motion
A bit similar to transport waste as it involves an unnecessary moment of equipment and people to various workflow processes. This causes things like a waste in resources, delays, and consumption of energy. The best way to bypass this problem is to have a plan in place, creating a checklist of all the tasks that need to be done does help in getting things done systematically.
- Waste as a result of processing methods
This is where plenty of time, effort and money is spent on achieving something that brings very little result. An example of waste processing can be cleaning and washing a car for hours for no logical reason. An organization can prevent excess processing through a method called parametric estimation. Before any task is done, questions like how much effort is needed to get the job done need to be asked. If the effort needed is not clear, management can base it off tasks that are similar to it.
It is clear to see that the process of Lean Six Sigma helps an organization highlight the 8 main kinds of waste that delay or slow down the production process. When each of the 8 types of waste is dealt with the right way, an organization is able to streamline their methods of production and get the best results while saving plenty of time.
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You can also download some Powerpoint slides of the 8 forms of waste, based on the acronym TIM WOODS