What does lean mean? As a concept, it’s more complex and continuous than what will be discussed. The seven or eight wastes of lean are any activity or cost that the customer claims add no value. Waste, in lean terms, is any activity that does not add value to the product, costs you money and/or resources, and earns you nothing as a business. From active losses to missed opportunities, all seven wastes are so common in manufacturing operations that they are often overlooked, but each can be more easily recognized by its causes and symptoms. That’s why this series seeks to clarify each of the seven deadly wastes and helps you learn to identify and eliminate them. Where did they come from?
The original seven wastes or MUDA were developed by Taiichi Ohno, the Chief Engineer at Toyota, as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS). The seven wastes are Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Overprocessing, and Defects. They are often referred to by the acronym ‘TIMWOOD.’ The eighth waste of non-utilized talent or ‘Skills’ of workers was later introduced in the 1990s when the Toyota Production System was adopted in the Western world. As a result, the eight wastes are commonly referred to as ‘TIMWOODS.’ In this series we will dig a bit deeper into each of the eight wastes.
Check out week two here: Overproduction: Are you measuring volume or value?