The 8 Lean Deadly Wastes: An Overview

Where Are The 8 lean deadly Wastes?

Lean methodologies deal with methods to reduce eight lean deadly wastes in order to be more efficient in serving the end customer. Wasteful activities are process steps that either the customer is not willing to pay for or are not critical to the creation of value for the customer. Elimination or reduction of these activities will result in tremendous savings for the business. It has been estimated that between 15% and 50% of typical companies’ resources are devoted to rework and non-value added tasks. They could be avoided but usually they are not even uncovered: they become hidden costs.
lean 8 wastes

The 8 Wastes

For example, a customer orders a Coke with no ice. If the vendor gives him a Coke with ice, he will be creating waste, dumping out the Coke and preparing again another one with NO ice. Time and resources have been wasted. And this is without even considering customer satisfaction and the time of the rest of the customer still waiting in the line.

The first step towards cutting company costs is to uncover these lean deadly wastes and prepare an action plan to get rid of them as soon as possible.

  1. Defects and scrap:

    Making defective products that have to be reworked, repaired or scrapped.  Defective products can also be in the way of information systems that do not communicate for example.  Not only there is wasted material on the scrap, but there’s also wasted time and wasted human energy, generating customer complaints, returns, reworks

  2. Overproduction:

    Producing more than needed. Usually it is not noted as an issue but it creates more of the other wastes. It is due to lack of resources and production planning, volume of sales not estimated correctly. Sometimes it si just a desperate intent to avoid late deliveries or to have enough inventory while changeover is too long

  3. Waiting:

    Idle time before next processing step. Examples of this waste are waiting for a meeting to start or for a prior step to be completed in a production line. It can be caused by a lack of raw materials or by an unbalanced workload among employees and shifts.

  4. Non-value added processing:

    Performing activities that add no value to the product or service from the customer’s perspective. It refers to manipulating and changing final products/services above and beyond what the customer expects and is willing to pay for. While sometimes we can try to make products even better than the customer expects, we need to check first if the customer will pay for the extra effort. A simple example of overprocessing is when Ticket counter reps put printed tickets on game day into an envelope before handing it to the buyer, who then trashes the envelope (wasted process step and material).

  5. Transportation:

    Movement of material or data from one place to another. Is the touching, moving, relocating of raw materials, tools, finished goods, etc. for use at different stages of a process. It is one of the activities that the customer doesn’t care about yet are necessary to the production of their finished product. In the ends it needs to be minimized in order to save time and reduce potential risks.

  6. Inventory:

    Supply in excess. It is developed when more supplies that needed are ordered, the inventory is tracked poorly. Anything getting dusty or pushed into corners is probably inventory in excess that soon will be obsolete or spoiled and you are spending money to store it.

  7. Motion waste:

    Movement of employees and equipment that does not add value to product or service. Walking to and from the copier, excessive effort or process steps like an operator reaching far above his head to complete a task. Another example is when something is reversed or undone, like putting down components and reverse a fixture each time a process is completed.

  8. Employee underutilized skills:

    Not using people’s abilities, skills, and experience to the fullest extent. Having employees with good ideas and experience is valuable, and the worst thing to do is to ignore it all. They are the best candidate to tell you what’s wrong in your processes and how you can improve them. Sharing ideas is not only good for the company but also for the people. They will feel valued by their peers, motivated, fulfilled in will be more engaged with the company.

    Reducing Downtime

If these are one too many wastes for you to remember, use this handy mnemonic to remember them all: DOWNTIME. And to put into practice what you’ve learnt, consider organizing a brainstorming session with your team to together find the 8 wastes in your own business.

You can also enroll to our free webinar in November on Lean thinking: “The Eight Deadly Wastes that impact your profit”  

Luciana Paulise – CEO Biztorming

[email protected]

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