8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing & How to Eliminate Them

Maximizing productivity and reducing waste is every company’s goal. Lean manufacturing methodology has recently gained much popularity because it focuses on this principle. It is a common practice adopted by companies like Toyota, Intel, and Nike. This method has also influenced industries outside the manufacturing world, such as software development and healthcare industries. 

Additionally, lean manufacturing can lead to higher efficacies, more valuable outputs, and reduced costs. Not only this, but companies can expect quality performance and faster development. Here are the 8 wastes of lean manufacturing and how to eliminate them.

1. Defects

This type of waste can be defined as loss of value due to repair or lack of poor documentation and standards. In other words, defects can be known as a lack of quality control. Furthermore, high levels of inventory, inadequate training, and poor machine repair are all factors that can cause defect waste. Defects have huge consequences such as extra costs, loss of resources, and dissatisfaction of customers, which can lead to a business’s downfall. 

Designing a process to help your company detect defects during production can help to eliminate this type of waste. Formalized document control and ensuring the use of qualitative methods can significantly improve defect management. 

Moreover, for companies to maintain a consistent management process, they must focus on improving the quality of their work. Incito helps you do just that. Consultants at Incito help to eliminate functional waste. They use value stream maps to visualize how companies can meet the needs of their valued customers.

2. Overproduction

As the word suggests, overproduction means producing faster or more than needed. This is also known as the “caterpillar effect”. Lack of proper planning and communication, local optimization, and low uptimes can all lead to overproduction. 

Overproduction can cause a considerable loss of money — the most of any of the 8 lean manufacturing wastes. It produces vast amounts of unsold goods that would be useless to the company. Moving the unsold or work-in-progress components would also require additional labor costs.

Organizations can create a made-to-order philosophy by correct planning and forecasting. Ensuring employee training can also reduce this type of waste. Moreover, Takt time balances production rates between units, and Kanban systems can also help to reduce overproduction. 

Incito uses tools such as Kanban cards to make it easier for management to inspect product progress at any time. They also design supply chains for companies that help to minimize the risk of over-production. 

3. Inventory

This waste is produced due to an unprocessed inventory. The inventory waste usually consists of work in progress, raw materials, and finished goods. Poor forecasting, poor management, and over-purchasing are some elements that can cause inventory waste. 

Inventory waste can cause a potential loss of customers due to inefficient deliveries, resulting in a massive loss of revenue. Additionally, this can also damage production materials. 

Companies and organizations can eliminate inventory waste by buying the correct quantity of materials only when required. Ordering small batches of raw materials and products could also reduce inventory waste. Furthermore, companies can reduce this waste through careful planning, purchasing, and forecasting.

4. Waiting

This type of waste includes inventory or machinery that sits idle. It is likely caused by defective equipment, poor machinery and skill, improper work methods, and long setup times. It can cause a loss of customers and result in other lean manufacturing wastes like excess inventory and overproduction. 

Businesses can eliminate waiting by using the process of Takt time and improving communication. Companies should also balance workloads by using proper instructions and hiring skilled workers who can meet work demands. Additionally, by reducing waiting time, companies can ensure a smoother workflow and reduce bottlenecks in the production process. 

5. Transportation

Transportation waste means a product that was relocated or touched when it should not have been. Transportation waste is likely caused by poor planning of large distance operations, excess production, and multiple storage facilities. This can result in possible damage to the product and unnecessary transportation costs. Moreover, it can cause additional waste such as waiting or motion, which can cause high fuel costs.

Creating a U-shape production line could reduce unnecessary transportation. Documenting the entire production process as well as any changes in company layouts can also reduce transportation. Such changes could save money and speed up manufacturing.  

6. Excess Processing

Excess processing means putting unnecessary effort into a product that adds no value. This could mean doing extra work, having more steps than needed in service, and including more components than required. It could be due to poor management issues such as data replication and lack of communication. 

Insufficient customer input could also be a possible reason for this type of waste. Overprocessing can result in loss of resources and frustrate workers who are putting in the extra effort. 

Process mapping is a great tool that can help eliminate excess processing. With process mapping, companies can keep track of performance reports, signoffs, and documents. Customer input is also essential. Companies should keep their customers updated every step of the way. This will ensure a smooth workflow with little to no overprocessing waste. 

7. Motion

Motion waste includes excess physical transport of raw materials, equipment, and people, like unnecessary lifting, bending, or buying of tools. It could also include searching for documents, going through the inventory, or readjusting a component already installed. 

These motions don’t add any value to the manufacturing process and only increase cost and time. Additionally, unnecessary movement can cause damage to machines and injure workers. Poor planning and process design can result in this type of waste.

To eliminate motion waste, companies should redesign their entire workstations. Companies should also aim for process mapping so the workspace can be adequately utilized. Moreover, to reduce straining and stretching, materials should be kept in a convenient position. 

8. Non-utilized Talent

This type of waste means the talents of employees are not being utilized. This could happen if management overlooks their talent and assigns them work or tasks they have not been properly trained for. Lack of teamwork and poor communication skills can cause non-utilized talent waste as well. As a result, talent may be poorly utilized, putting companies at risk of high turnover rates and employee dissatisfaction. 

A reliable solution for eliminating non-utilized talent can be communicating with employees and considering their ideas. Additionally, companies should also provide them with the proper training and opportunities. 

Incito provides training for company executives and support for management and staff to ensure employee talents are recognized and appropriately used. We help your company build a strong culture through coaching and collaborative work. Organizations can also take the initiative of creating a reward system to keep their employees motivated.

Work with Incito to Eliminate the 8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

Incito is an organization that aims to change how the world does business, helping your company gather the right tools for your enterprise. We create refined methodologies to increase your company’s flexibility and improve labor efficiency. In fact, because of Incito’s services, companies can expect an increased return on their investments. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help your company eliminate the 8 wastes of lean manufacturing, scaling your production process to the next level.

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