Lean manufacturing helps organizations to do more with less. With a focus on both customer needs and profit, Lean manufacturing works to reduce waste by evaluating what is essential to achieve overall success in both imperatives. Lean works to reduce waste by categorizing them in eight sections, including:
- Defects – products, information or services are incomplete and/or inaccurate
- Over Production – creating products too early or too fast and creating more than necessary
- Waiting – downtime associated with waiting for materials, parts, people or information
- Non-utilized Talent – team experience, skills, knowledge or creativity that is not being utilized to its full potential
- Transportation – unnecessary movement of equipment, materials and products
- Inventory – overly stocked to the point that is not beneficial
- Motion – movement that is not of value to the customer
- Extra Processing – any additional steps that are no needed and do not add value
BENEFITS OF ELIMINATING THE 8 WASTES
Many benefits can be reaped from eliminating waste in your organization, including:
Eliminating waste can be beneficial to company profits. With lower overhead and better utilization of time and resources, profits are increased.
When the 8 wastes are eliminated, customers are more likely to be satisfied because your company will be producing higher quality products quickly and affordably.
Overall company performance can improve when waste is eliminated. This is because the process of eliminating the 8 wastes allows for streamlining and automating of business processes.
Lean practices can also lower risks. This is because one of the main goals of lean practices is to improve company quality by reducing risk factors that have the potential to dissatisfy the customer.
HOW TO IMPLEMENT LEAN PRACTICES
Lean practices should be implement after a company has learned to see its operations in the eyes of a customer. Training should be provided so that employees can be aware of what exactly the 8 wastes of lean look like and why they need to be avoided. A great acronym for companies to use to remember the 8 wastes is DOWNTIME.