Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Get the waste out

Ryan Snyder,
Plant Manager
As manufacturers, we know the importance of getting rid of waste. And when referring to waste, we're not only talking about the physical waste, but also within the process of how we run our plants.

When we examine the way we do things and get rid of the waste, it makes us leaner. And being lean helps us stay competitive.

Throughout the manufacturing industry, there are seven widely-recognized categories of process waste, including:
  • Defects - work performed incorrectly
  • Work in process - work waiting to be completed
  • Overproduction - work completed earlier than necessary
  • Waiting - work that people are waiting on due to work imbalances, defects or other root causes
  • Motion - unnecessary human movement required to complete a transaction or customer request
  • Transportation - movement, either physically or electronically, of a customer transaction which consumes resources and costs, but is not required to satisfy the customer
  • Overprocessing - excessive work that doesn't add value to the product for the customer
In the manufacturing world, it's all about ensuring that everything we do ultimately provides value to the process in which we do our job and to our customers. Anything that we are doing that does not provide value is a waste.

Many times we are so caught up in the daily grind, that we often overlook the obvious waste in our processes. The extra effort towards a leaner way of doing things makes us more profitable and better equipped to provide value to the families we serve.

We have to make the time to evaluate what we do on a daily basis. I would be willing to bet we will find more than one of the seven categories of waste hidden in our daily routines. Take the time to be more lean.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/tuesdays.

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