In the first part of our article on lean manufacturing and the seven wastes we looked at why organizations should be interested in reducing business wastes together with the first 3 wastes, in this the second part we’ll look at the remaining wastes.

Waste Four: Excess Inventory
Excess inventory is one of the more obvious wastes in so much as you can see it piling up in your warehouse. Unnecessary inventory requires storage, can suffer damages or theft and in itself leads to other wastes in unnecessary transportation, processing steps and unnecessary motion.

Waste Five: Waiting Time
Every minute that goods spend either not moving or waiting to be processed is time wasted waiting. Often waiting time waste is due to overly long production lines. The question becomes whether some processes can be done in parallel rather than in series?

Waste Six: Defects
Defects which lead to rework or scrap are perhaps the most obvious waste. Not only do they have a direct impact on the bottom line they also lead to additional waste through otherwise unnecessary processes, transportation, waiting time and motion.

Waste Seven: Overproduction
Overproduction is the opposite of ‘just in time’ processing – manufacturing an item before it is actually required. It is production for inventory, not production to order. Overproduction leads to longer lead times, inventory waste and even more defects.

A Lean Value Stream works to eliminate waste throughout your business processes but learning to identify waste – and address it – requires not only attention to detail but also commitment from the organisation to the process. Increasingly firms are turning to lean manufacturing training as a solution to those needs, the cost of which is more than offset by the cost savings delivered by effective Lean Manufacturing techniques.

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