Standard Work Strategies for Eliminating Waste
Types of waste
Organizations are forever looking for ways to cut costs and reduce waste. Wasted resources eat into profit margins, which poses a threat to organizational success.
By applying standard work principles that eliminate waste, organizations can optimize their efficiency. But before you can get rid of waste, you need to be able to recognize it. And there are several types of waste.
Transport waste is the unnecessary moving of raw materials, work in progress, or finished goods between facilities. This not only costs money; it can damage inventory and degenerate product quality.
For example, a tire manufacturer can eliminate transport waste by moving work areas, equipment, or machinery closer together, rather than spread out across multiple factories.
Motion waste is the unnecessary movement of people or machines while working. For example, if an administrator has to stand and bend repeatedly while scanning documents, this is wasted motion.
By using standard work to optimize the spatial arrangement of offices and workstations you can remedy this.
If you work in manufacturing, you might have encountered overstocked storage rooms or warehouses full of unused raw materials — inventory and overproduction waste. Among other causes, excess inventory and overproduction could result from unreliable suppliers or inaccurate demand forecasting.
Prevent both these waste types by matching the storage and production of goods with customer demand.
Also, be on the lookout for times when your product or service isn’t moving or being processed. Time spent waiting is wasted. It’s a common issue, especially in organizations with unreliable supply chains, poor material flow, or ineffective production planning.
To eliminate this waste type, perfect the flow of items, documents, and information through the production line and value stream.
Organizations often face pressure to use the latest high-tech systems and machines, but when these don’t outperform simpler options, the investment is wasted. Overprocessing waste occurs when processes are carried out that don’t actually add value. This type of waste is often accompanied by unnecessary, needlessly precise, or overly complex processes.
Tackle this waste type by accurately identifying customer needs to find ways to reduce or simplify production.
Defects are another type of waste. Defective products entering the market can spell disaster, so organizations use quality control systems to identify defects before a product reaches the customer. But by that stage, a lot of materials, time, and energy have gone into the product. Whether it’s scrapped or reworked, the defect is causing waste.
Eliminate defects by ensuring quality at source, providing adequate training, and using reliable equipment. Although waste can occur in manufacturing and service organizations, the causes of waste and strategies for eliminating it will differ.
Identifying and eliminating waste helps to ensure your organization runs at peak efficiency.