Identifying Waste in Your Organization

When it comes to lean manufacturing there are eight ways that your company can experience waste that affects the bottom line. Many of these waste aspects can be fixed and C Tek Solutions is your answer to identifying and then answering waste problems in your production lines. We have the experience, knowledge, and talent to identify problems then come up with easy to implement answers to fix the issue going forward. 

Our team often applies the process to our own business in order to increase productivity and profit for ourselves plus all of our clients. What it all boils down to is that we can help increase the bottom line of your business once we go through the process of working the acronym DOWNTIME.

The Different Types of Waste

DOWNTIME is the acronym that explains each of the eight different types of waste that all lean manufacturing operations should know and work through regularly. Here are those aspects explained simply, but there are very complex aspects to each of these waste issues that C Tek Solutions has mastered the understanding and implementation of even the very complex problems. We specialize in finding all those hard to notice issues that many other similar companies would completely miss in their observation of a manufacturing business’s daily operations.

Here are the eight types of waste that make up DOWNTIME:


Defects are the easiest to spot out of all the various types of waste. They are self-explanatory and are exactly what you think – a final product that does not meet the clients’ specifications or expectations. There are a couple of reasons for defects to occur and they include employees not understanding their duties or directions, material issues, inventory issues, and even shipping problems. All of these can cause defective final products and while the problem is very easy to notice after the fact, the real trick is identifying the problems before they have a chance to affect your lean manufacturing process.


Overproduction can happen for a variety of reasons and is always a drain on lean manufacturers’ operations and profits. Making too much of something is what it boils down to and it can happen because a business attempts to pre-produce a product before the demand is created in anticipation of future orders. Instead of this method, many operations have adopted a JIT (Just In Time) methodology that eliminates the waste issue of overproduction almost completely. This approach is manufacturing only what has been ordered and producing it so quickly that the client may think that you already had their product in your inventory. It is a neat little trick that we here at C Tek would love to walk you through the steps of setting up this type of lean manufacturing process.


Waiting is simply what it says it is. It is employees, products, machinery, suppliers, or anything else that can break up the chain of flow for the production process of a product. There are a vast number of reasons waiting occurs, from late deliveries from suppliers to broken machinery somewhere in the operation of production. Luckily, when you learn and adopt a JIT method of action, you eliminate much of the waste that comes from waiting waste issues.

Non-Utilized Talent

Your employees are a vast resource that needs to be properly utilized or you are wasting time, energy, and other expensive aspects of the production process when you ignore or underestimate your employee’s talents. They may surprise you in the ways that they can help to increase productivity in your lean manufacturing process. 

That is why it is always important to listen and pay attention to your employees’ work and suggestions. What they see every day is different from what you see and they may notice waste issues in their section of the production process and be able to offer up possible workarounds or solutions to solving these waste problems that are a drain on supplies, time, worker hours, and lots of other expensive aspects to your lean manufacturing goals. 

While it may seem simple enough to just listen to and pay better attention to your employees to solve this waste issue but many times management has blinders on to what is going on and many need to work on their valuation of employee skills. Do not worry because we here at C Tek Solutions have simple methodologies that you can implement to increase communication and evaluation of your employees’ talents immediately. 


Moving products, machinery, and people from place to place can quickly create waste when not implemented in the exact proper manner. This one can be difficult to tackle sometimes because many do not even see that there is waste being caused or have come to accept that certain things just are the way they are, like waiting for a distant supplier or vendor to deliver necessary goods to your production process. Solving that issue may be as simple as identifying a more local supplier or vendor to order from but even this is not always an option. 

There is also inner transportation waste caused when you move products from place to place during their production procedures. The layout of your facility and accepted methods of manufacturing can lead to transportation waste, but both can be solved once an outside pair of eyes can help you identify these issues within your organization. That is where we here at C Tek specialize and we are able to offer many suggestions and answers to help you eliminate transportation waste with simple alterations to your approach and routines.


By inventory waste issues we do not just mean having an overproduction or underproduction of a product your lean manufacturing organization produces. Although, these are both included in this waste issue. Other ways that inventory can affect your bottom line include idle machinery, outdated machinery that needs to be replaced, ordering the correct parts at the correct time, storing old parts or produces products, and much more. Inventory waste problems are sometimes hard to spot but make sense once an outside source like C Tek takes a look at your business and can point out to you. Being set in a comfortable routine can often lead to inventory problems and so can miscalculating demand for a current, past, or future product line. All inventory waste issues can be solved with minor alterations of your current approach, methods, and expectations.


 Motion Issues can be hard to identify although easy to define. Some examples of waste in motion problems include lack of employee training and therefore employees taking time to check instructions multiple times. Also, reactive maintenance instead of proactive maintenance can cause motion issues by holding up production at peak times and leave employees wasting valuable time waiting for repairs to continue their work. Backups in production can be caused by a variety of reasons but is another example of waste in the motion of your lean manufacturing processes. Fortunately, there have been major advances in technologies that can help increase productivity and maximize motion throughout your organization. C Tek offers training on many of these systems, methods, and also other types of solutions besides just technological ones.


 This is one of the easier to spot and solve waste problems. It includes things like overly complicated approval and adaptation processes through multiple layers of management or oversight. Also, there could be excessive, unnecessary, and non-demanded features to a product line that you can easily eliminate without decreasing demand for that product. 

This is where proper demand research and understanding your clients’ and the end-use customers’ desires can lead to quick solutions for this waste problem. There are also issues like outdated tools and technologies used by your business causing extra steps that waste employee’s time and energy. Just continually updating and staying at the forefront of production facilities can help eliminate the extra-processing waste issues. 

We here at C Tek know the direction many production procedures are moving and can help guide you to the proper technologies, machinery, tools, and other aspects that can help get rid of this waste problem in vast amounts.

Solving Waste Issues

As you can see, these eight waste issues all can negatively affect your bottom line. While many of them are inter-tangled with one another and one affects the other in continuity, some solutions can solve many of these problems very simply and with little investment of capital or time. Training is a key answer to many of the issues and C Tek Solutions can train you in proper ways of eliminating issues so that you can save your company large amounts of money. Waste is something every lean manufacturing organization should always be seeking to eliminate and we can help you do just that.