In a broad sense, waste can be considered as any activity or resource in an organization that does not add value to an external customer.
The seven wastes can be applied to a warehousing situation, an office (substituting documents for products), transactional or support service activities, and many other work functions that are not necessarily manufacturing or operational in nature.
Waste 1 | Waiting
- Can some tasks be done in parallel rather than in series?
Waste 2 | Transportation
- Can the process be configured to move product to the next operations (rather than having people do the moving)?
Waste 3 | Processing Itself
- Can some tasks be combined or eliminated?
Waste 4 | Motion
- What aids, such as fixtures, new equipment, or special tools could speed up the process?
Waste 5 | Poor “Quality”
- Where can mistake-Proofing be used to eliminate or reduce errors or rework?
Waste 6 | Inventory
- Is WIP (inventory) needed just-in-case or can we operate without it?
Waste 7 | Overproduction
- Can the operation produce to order rather than produce for inventory?