7 Types of Waste and How They Influence Your Work Life

Of the activities developed by an organisation, only those your client is willing to pay for are considered real added value.

This assumption quickly leads us to think about waste and Muda (Japanese word to define waste) and the importance of eliminating it from day-to-day life - especially where a company’s expenses are concerned.

If a company’s profit is equal to the price of its product minus its cost, it is crucial to eliminate waste because it will increase costs and decrease company profitability. What are you waiting for to start?

We identify seven types of Muda, namely in the service area (waste in logistics and industry are quite similar):

Excessive information: Creating excess information (more information than what the client needs); excessive information is a waste of time and work and generates information stocks.

Transport of information or material: Transporting information among several processes, which leads to the increase in costs and time of demand, as well as the loss of information.

Stocks of information or material: Having information stored that is not used or useful; Having excessive stock of work that is in process (increases the space that is engaged and the time a client has to wait, as well as hiding real problems).

Movement of people: Team members’ movements. Movement does not equal work. Plenty of times, movements are the simple consequence of poorly designed layouts with distant equipment, information and people that one needs to interact with.

Idle people: Waiting for information about the arrival of material; Stress or excessive fatigue.

Complicated Processes: Inadequate procedures with excessive interface and inefficiency. All of this leads to additional effort when working, poorly used resources (people, equipment, knowledge) and lack of motivation from team members.

Errors/Mistakes: Incorrect documents; Lack of information for specific team members (important for the final client).

Recognising the wastes model is fundamental for improvement. The strategy to move forward with a solution to these problems is divided into three steps: understand what is added value for consumers and clients, eliminate what is not important for those clients and consumers (MUDA) and reinforce the added value. These actions will result in a number of advantages, such as the increase in productivity – which will become more evident due to the fact that only what is necessary is being produced, and nothing more -, the reduction in process Lead Time, in costs, in movements, in research or search time and of the used space. Stress will automatically decrease and motivation will increase.

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