Elimination of waste is at the heart of the lean manufacturing process – of course being able to eliminate waste starts with the ability to identify waste in your business processes. You may think that spotting waste may be obvious but, then again, if it were quite that obvious then surely you would have cut all the waste in your processes already.

What’s need is a systematic framework for identifying waste, and Lean Manufacturing provides just that with its Seven Wastes.

Initially the seven wastes of lean manufacturing grew out of the Toyota Production System, however, as Lean has developed the concepts have also successfully been applied to supply chain management, administrative tasks and service elements as well.

Whatever industry you happen to be in, effective Lean Manufacturing training can help eliminate much of the waste from both your production methods and your overall business processes.

Waste One: Unnecessary Transportation
Within a manufacturing environment, unnecessary transportation can be as simple as the distance raw materials have to travel from the time they arrive at a facility until they are put to use in the manufacturing process.

Waste Two: Unnecessary Processing or Processing Steps
In the search for quality it is almost inevitable that some processes become over complicated with systems of reviews and approvals. How many times have you received a report that was never read or rubber-stamped a process that everyone knew had to be done anyway? In a similar vein, many businesses use expensive, high-precision tools to complete tasks where simpler, less expensive ones would suffice.

Effective lean manufacturing training can help balance the need for quality with the need for lean manufacturing processes.

Waste Three: Unnecessary Motion
If an operative must walk half way across the production floor to pick up a part or a tool then this is a clear sign of unnecessary motion. However, what you might not immediately notice is the time it takes them to hunt for the appropriate part or for clerical staff to rifle through a poorly arrange filing cabinet.

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