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Streamlining Work Processes: Reducing Waste in Your Organization

Lean Six Sigma is an excellent way to eliminate waste and streamline work processes. You are in business because of your customers, and if what you are selling or servicing isn’t increasing the value of your product for your customer, it is considered waste or muda.

7 wastes lean six sigma

The 7 Types of Waste

1. Defects: Errors take time to fix and usually require added funds and time to remanufacture the product. This should have been done right the first time.

Some of the reasons behind having defects are:

  • Poor quality control
  • Processes that are lacking in standard
  • Customer needs not met/lack of understanding needs

2. Overproduction: Excess product being manufactured, whether or not needed.

  • Production in case of emergency
  • Producing to meet a forecast
  • Faulty automation
  • Long set up time between productions

3. Waiting: This is the time spent waiting during the work processes.

For example, this could be waiting for approval or because you ran out of material or a machine broke down. This could be due to any number of reasons, including:

  • Being short staffed
  • Poor communication
  • Poor work processes
  • Unbalanced workloads

4. Transporting: Otherwise known as excessive movement of product, which doesn’t add any value and wastes time. So moving the product to another location could be easier if you could map out the flow of the product and timeframe.

5. Inappropriate Processing: Here is where high tech equipment is used when a a simpler tool would be sufficient. The high tech equipment doesn’t add value and actually diminishes your profits.

6. Unnecessary Inventory: This is also what happens when you overproduce and add waiting to the mix. Excess inventory takes up space, uses up material, increases lead-time, increases delays, and is a hazard in general.

7. Excess Motion: This is bending, stretching, walking, lifting and reaching that is done unnecessarily. Having excess motion increases job-related accidents. A more thoroughly thought-out work process or better ergonomics should be designed and implemented.

Interested in reducing waste for your organization? Learn more about our Six Sigma training courses and services today!

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