5 ways to identify waste
Successfully implementing lean processes provides a number of benefits for businesses. There are always ways to improve upon a lean process within a company, but doing so takes several steps. One of the easiest and most effective ways to make a lean process more efficient, as C Tek can explain, is to eliminate wasteful processes. Doing so gives you a chance to create a more orderly work environment and later focus on making your lean process more streamlined and efficient. To start, you’ll need to identify waste so that you can then remove it and replace it with value-added elements instead.
Inventory is one of the main categories you should look at to see where improvements can be made, especially with a product-based business. Inventory that is not directly required for end products based on customer demand can be eliminated. A good way to determine the value of inventory is to check what you have in your production backlog against sales numbers. Ideally, a company should produce only the minimum inventory required to meet sales goals in a short period of time. Keep in mind that inventory also includes office supplies and materials needed to support the administrative side of the company.
Overproduction is a common issue for many businesses. In order to keep their employees busy, companies keep production going beyond what’s required to meet basic demands, and they continue to stock their warehouses in anticipation of increased product production. However, this ends up being a waste of time, product, and inventory maintenance. A better option is to reduce hours as needed to lower the cost of production.
While companies want to operate without issues or errors, they can inadvertently end up spending more time and money by trying to correct a problem rather than implementing measures and processes to avoid over-processing to start with. Over-processing can be avoided by having a procedure in place with step-by-step instructions and clear guidance for employees to follow in all departments. Companies find that their operations are more efficient and error-free when they have structure and order to start with.
Transportation is another key area where businesses can improve. Transportation can include traditional things like objects and products. However, it can also refer to data. Products and physical goods are generally moved from one facility to the next. They can also be moved around within a facility, which takes time and energy. The labor and fuel costs associated with moving products around can also apply to stocking, stacking, and filing. Employees who move products around without notifying others can also add on to transportation costs if others then have to go searching for the original product. To eliminate unnecessary transportation of data, companies can implement automated processes, software, and create generally more lean operations.
Downtime happens often, and it usually occurs as a result of a process that becomes bottlenecked or stopped. This can happen if machinery that you are using breaks, or from other problems in the production line such as a change in orders or products, inspections that occur too frequently or needing to wait for parts and components to arrive. While downtime happens often in the manufacturing industry and on the production floor, it can also happen in office environments. Downtime can occur when employees or departments encounter bottlenecks if they are waiting for feedback, decisions, and other information.
If you are ready to eliminate waste to make your business more efficient and effective, contact the expert staff at C Tek for more suggestions and recommendations. Creating change at your company can start with small improvements that ultimately make a big difference.