The principles of the seven wastes are well known – and a lot of value stream analysis and lean manufacturing/lean six sigma processes are targeted at minimizing this – however despite knowing what waste to look for – do you know what the causes of it are? Do you know what to take out of your processes to improve them and reduce the dreaded muda?
Here are our top 10 causes of waste
1/ Poor Layout
A Poor layout can result in excessive movement between areas by staff – for example – a common issue is where inventory is stored in relation to where it is needed
2/ Poor work methods
Goes without saying that if processes are poor you’ll have issues.
3/ Lack of adherence to process
Once you’ve got world class processes you need to ensure that people stick to them – failure to follow process is another common reason for excess inventories for example.
4/ Incorrect performance measures
Ouch – another common one – while measures are a good thing the wrong measure can drive the wrong behavior and increase waste.
5/ Poor planning/forecasting
Ineffective forecasting can result in a business being incorrectly primed for what’s around the corner – again watch out for inventory stock piles to buffer against demand variability.
6/ Poor Supplier quality
Poor suppliers will drive activity to compensate – again higher inventories and over processing.
7/ Long setup time
Lead time junkie!
8/ Lack of organization
9/ Lack of preventative maintenance
Protect the organization against excessive downtimes by enforcing a thorough preventative maintenance policy.
10/ Lack of training
Your staff is your business! – a lack of training whether that’s on policies and procedures or on improvement tools will stagnate your organization and result in inefficiencies.