Waste refers to anything that adds zero value to a business. For example, a business might hire machine operators, only for them to end up sitting idly, waiting for a new order. How about storing inventory for months before shipping to buyers? Such wastes inflate costs and reduce profits.
Removing wasteful elements from your business can result in better customer satisfaction. Here are 7 types of waste you should shun by all means:
Any material movement that does not constitute a value adding process is a waste. It’s important for processes to be as close to each other as possible. For instance, there’s no need to have multiple warehouses if just one is enough – You will only end up spending more and increasing lead times
Producing goods faster than required will most likely create further wastes down the production line. You might be forced to acquire more storage space, sell at discounts, or totally write some products off. Your goal should be to make what’s required only when the customer requires it.
Consider a warehouse manager who enters the same data in multiple forms just in case they’ll need some back-up. Such an exercise wastes time that could be used in other production processes. We are in the era of mobile inventory apps and cloud-based inventory management, which make such practices all the more outdated and redundant.
This is unnecessary movement of machine or man within a work station. For example, you might have placed a tool at ground level, when it’s in fact best suited for waist level. Similarly, having to make too many clicks on an inventory management app just to accomplish a small task is counterproductive.
Waiting happens when a person or item is ready for the next step but the process is not yet ready to accommodate more.
It might be the most obvious type of waste but one that’s notoriously hard to detect. A defective item requires replacement. In fact, chances of a customer who receives such an item never coming back can be quite high.
There’s a cost associated with any piece of material or work in progress your business holds before successfully selling it to customers. Such costs come in many forms – storage space, packaging, or transport.
Avoiding these wastes can accelerate the growth of your business.