A key concept in Lean is ‘waste’, which can be defined as anything that doesn’t add value to the customer. This short video explains the different types of waste in LEAN.
Transport is all about unnecessary movement of work, for example sequential process steps are not co-located, or files are being transported from one location to the other.
Inventory is about holding information and material longer than required, for examples piles of unprocessed work, unread emails or overstocked marketing materials.
A third type of waste is Motion which is the non-value-added movement of people such as unnecessary meetings or walking to copier and printer.
Waiting causes delays or stoppages. Waiting for instructions, waiting for the next production step, slow computers are all part of it.
Another type of waste is Overproduction, unnecessary effort producing work in excess or ahead of customer requirements. Think of printing paperwork before it is needed or processing items before they are required in the next process step.
A sixth type is Overprocessing, unnecessary activity due to complex processes and systems, such as too many approvals or an application form where the same data is needed in different places.
A Defect is the effort involved in inspecting for and fixing defects, such as data entry errors.
A last type of waste, Unutilized People, covers aspects such as improvement ideas by people on the floor not captured or restricting employee’s responsibility to make routine decisions.
Lean is a management philosophy, derived from the Toyota Production System that fosters a culture of continuous improvement that maximizes value and minimizes waste by focusing on a high value-added flow.