Wait, There Are More Wastes?

Posted on January 19, 2012 | in Lean Wastes, Standardized Work, Time Savings | by

Well, yes, there are more wastes but they don’t fall under the category of “process wastes.” These wastes have their own way of being eliminated or minimized.

Waste of utility resources: I think of utility resources as being electricity, water, natural gas, and fuel. Think about what you can do to reduce the waste of water – are hoses leaky or left on unattended? What if your business uses vehicles that aren’t very fuel efficient? What kind of impact would a vehicle upgrade have on the bottom line? What about refrigerator units – are you maintaining an internal temperature lower than needed?

Waste of available space: Ownership of a square foot of floor space is actually a misnomer – it also includes the “airspace” above that square foot and goes up as far as you let it. What are you doing with that space? Many companies with warehouses don’t take full advantage of the space going up, but are extremely concerned about lateral space forward, back, and left to right. How much of the plant footprint can be better housed going up? Movers for relocation companies don’t just line boxes up on the floor of the truck – they stack boxes all the way up to the ceiling of the truck. They are an excellent example of airspace being fully utilized.

Waste of time: This is one of the key resources that the lean wastes look to eliminate, but how often do operators either not know what to do and have to wait for instruction or simply choose to work slower or not at all due to lack of supervision? We all have our 86,400 seconds of time every day and it’s important to use the right time of the right people in the right ways. Show your operators how to do things properly and lay out your expectations early – the less time spent on vague expectations, the better.

I’m sure there are others, but this is a good start. These wastes have costs associated with them as well as the process wastes, and they can impact the bottom line in significant ways too.

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One Response to “Wait, There Are More Wastes?”

  1. Pingback: Domino’s Pizza Boxes, Standardized Work, and Overproduction | Lean Blitz – Do it better.

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