Waste Elimination

This ever finer clarification of waste is key to establishing distinctions between value-adding activity, waste and non-value-adding work. Non-value adding work is waste that must be done under the present work conditions (Wikipedia).

The Eight Wastes

Taiischi Ohno (1988) identifies various types of waste:

  • Overproduction – making or doing more than is required or earlier than needed
  • Waiting – for information, materials, people, maintenance, etc.
  • Transport – moving people or goods around or between sites
  • Poor process design – too many/few steps, non-standardization, inspection rather than prevention, etc.
  • Inventory – raw materials, work in progress, finished goods, papers, electronic files, etc.
  • Motion – inefficient layouts at workstations, in offices, poor ergonomics
  • Defects – errors, scrap, rework, nonconformance
  • Underutilized personnel resources and creativity – ideas that are not listened to, skills that are not used