Lean Management : what are the 8 kinds of waste

(English) You will see the different kinds of waste existing in compagnies. And curiously, it’s also very close to what we can find at home.

The Gas Gauge example

This example is perfect to understand Lean Manufacturing. We can directly make the connection with minimalism.

First, the car signals that the fuel is low.
Then, you go to the gas station and you refill.
> Why filling the gas tank when we are not low on gas?

The 8 kinds of waste

  1. Overproduction : it’s producing items for which there are no orders
  2. Waiting : when someone is just there to watch or to wait for the next step
  3. Unnecessary transport : carrying work in progress long distance or storing finished goods
  4. Over-processing or incorrect processing : poor tool and product design can cause unnecessary motion or defects. It’s also about providing higher-quality than is necessary.
  5. Excess inventory : it can cause longer lead times, obsolescence, damaged goods, transportation and storage costs
  6. Unnecessary movement such as looking for a tool or walking
  7. Defects : repair and rework cause a waste of time and effort
  8. Unused employee creativity : if we don’t engage or listen to the employees, we can lose ideas, skills and improvements.

Here are some other interesting notes :

  • In Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), everyone learns how to clean, inspect, and maintain equipment.
  • The Just-In-Time is a tool to produce and deliver products in small quantities, with short lead times, to meet specific customer needs.


The content of this post is inspired by the book “The Toyota Way” – Jeffrey K. Liker

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