7 Wastes

(a.k.a. “7 Deadly Wastes of Manufacturing”, “7 Sins of Manufacturing”, etc.) The 7 wastes are activities identified and categorized as non-value adding events or processes that limit profitability in a company.

First identified by Taiichi Ohno of Toyota, the “7 Wastes” are as follows: (simplified)

1. Overproduction: Making more parts than you can sell.

2. Delay: Waiting for processing, parts sitting in storage, etc.

3. Transporting: Parts/Materials: Moving parts to various storage locations, from process to process, etc.

4. Over-Processing: Doing more “work” to a part than is required.

5. Inventory: Committing money and storage space to parts not sold.

6. Motion: Moving parts more than the minimum needed to complete and ship them.

7. Making Defective Parts: Creating parts that cannot be sold “as is” or that must be reworked etc.

Note 1: This is a terrific list and is commonly accepted as all-inclusive. Of course being “Improvers” we add “Innovation” as #8 which includes failing to tap into the human potential and creativity of your workforce. We contend that this is perhaps among the greatest failures and “wastes” in manufacturing today.

Note 2: Another waste, “Re-prioritization” (#9 if you will,) has also become more accepted in the Lean community. It is the practice of incurring waste by doing things like changing from one project or run of materials etc. before its “natural” and/or scheduled conclusion. This may cause increased losses due to setups and customer delivery delays etc. This is the commonly known practice of someone in authority declaring a job “HOT” and prioritizing it to the the detriment of other jobs / customer’s needs.