APICS fans will recall that Shigeo Shingo – the master of lean manufacturing and Toyota waste reduction – first coined the notion of the 7 wastes of manufacturing. In a recent article, Donald Sheldon of DH Sheldon & Associates, who lectures at SUNY and was one of the original authors of the APICS Operations Management Body of Knowledge Framework suggests two more. But first, the Seven.
Shingo was once observed eating a banana on stage at an APICS conference and being bothered by having to buy bananas by weight when he did not eat the skins, which he considered “waste” (or “muda” the Japanese term for waste).
That sort of thinking is what drove him while at Toyota years ago to define his seven areas, which we thought worth reprising for the thought and benefit of our many manufacturing clients today:
- Overproduction of products and services, as in activities not supported by customer demand
- Waiting for parts, or a machine to finish, or a support function, etc.
- Excessive transportation or handling of goods
- Stocking unneeded inventory
- Motion by employees that is redundant or avoidable
- Defects in products or services that result in scrap or rework
- Processing and transactions that are unnecessary
In an article in the May/June 2015 of APICS Magazine Sheldon adds that the APICS community added an eighth area and he suggests a ninth courtesy of a student of his who was certifying for his green belt in a six sigma class:
- Waste of human creativity, and
- Environmental waste (for example, wasted or excessive use of energy).
We mention these today to give readers a chance to pause for a moment and consider these areas of waste within their own plants and organizations.
Identifying such areas in your operation and taking the necessary steps to remedy them is simply one more link in your chain of continuous improvement.