The seven wastes

When developing your value stream its crucial that processes concentrate on adding value and avoiding waste. Waste can come in a variety of forms and various actions will be required to target these.

There are seven principle wastes – listed below – when analyzing your value stream pay particular attention to areas where these occur.

Unnecessary Transport

Where product is moved between operations whether that’s factories or desks lead time is added and no value is created

Material/inventory

Excess stock can be caused by overproduction or as mitigation against uncertain supply – however this comes at a cost whether the direct purchase cost or associated burden such as processing and storage.

Motion

Ensure that tools and equipment are close to hand unnecessary employee movement in the workspace creates waste.

Waiting

The product waiting for the next process step adds no value therefore aim to minimize waiting time.

Overproduction

Producing too many widgets, not what the customer wanted, results in higher costs, processing time, and a willingness to “buffer” against other problems in the production chain.

Over processing

Fixing problems through rework or multiple approval signatures where one will do are both signs of over-processing

Defects

Defects in end product add no value – they often require fixing and attract significant costs to the organization.

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