The 7 Deadly Wastes

metal-3331384_1920We’ve previously discussed the importance of focusing on value creation. I like to think of value creation as the importance of rendering service to another human where profit is the thing that lets you do it again.

From there, we discussed the entire value stream and the importance of ensuring that your value stream flows without interruption, which reduces leadtime, improves quality, and removes significant potential for scrap.

Now it’s time to shift our focus to a topic behind each of these concepts: The elimination of waste.

Within a lean framework, there are seven different types of waste. These are the seven deadly sins of a wasteful company;

1. Defects
2. Overproduction
3. Transportation
4. Waiting
5. Inventory
6. Motion
7. Excess Processing

All of the frameworks for both lean and six sigma are addressed to reduce waste. We will explore each of these individually.

If you don’t think a company’s waste affects you, consider the following:

Have you ever had to wait on hold for an hour to talk to a human?
Have you ever seen landfills filled with industrial scrap?
Have you ever worked in a restaurant where the entire time you felt like you were bumping into your colleagues and spent your entire day walking?
Have you ever purchased a product that didn’t work?
Have you ever gone to the store and found they didn’t have what you were looking for?
Have you ever been laid off from a job because your services weren’t needed, as your company had enough product built?
Have you ever gone to the grocery store to buy something only to find you already had it, hidden behind mounds of food in your pantry?

Each of these is an example of waste that the application of lean thinking can help resolve and/or improve.

Removing waste from an organization simultaneously lowers cost and improves quality. Our next post will discuss the high cost of waste.

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