Honing in on 8 Wastes is a 4-part series to examine and elevate awareness of the 8 wastes in manufacturing (DOWNTIME), and tips for enabling your employees to see them too.

Eight Wastes, Part Three:

Transportation is the unnecessary movement of people, tools, products, equipment, or materials between processes. A simplistic example many can relate to is the making of the morning coffee. Whether in cupboards or drawers, are your coffee beans, grinder, filters, cream, sugar, spoons and coffee mugs – all within arms’ reach of your coffee pot? This waste is often the result of a poor plant or office layout or misaligned process flow that causes unnecessary or excessive steps. A value stream map can help identify and eliminate steps that don’t add value to your customer.


Do you have ‘just in case inventory’? This includes both raw materials and finished products. Companies sometimes order too much or have product on hand to protect against production delays, potential surge in demand, or lack of faith in suppliers. The inventory waste is connected to several other types of waste. It leads to an increase in costs because items are paid for- but ‘waiting’ and have the risk of parts becoming damaged or obsolete. Too much product inventory is connected to ‘overproduction’. Evaluating reasons for overproduction and using business systems for data-driven inventory management are good places to start digging into inventory waste.


Click Here for Honing in on 8 Wastes: Part One

Click Here for Honing in on 8 Wastes: Part Two


Learn more about NWIRC’s Lean Together, working group for operational excellence.