The 8 Wastes


To remember the first 7 Wastes, think of the acronym TIM WOOD.










This is having to walk large distances between workstations or to stores. Some folk actually still have processes in different buildings.


When we are "walking" we are not able to do any work.


Part of the cure is 5S, which would lay out the workplace to enable a flow that pulls the materials from station to station.



Inventory is everything you need to buy to make the product: all the raw materials. It also includes any finished goods.


So what is a waste in that?


Well, the waste is in buying too much material at once; making too much product just to sit on shelves; having too much work in progress... Because all this material (including consumables) costs money and having to spend this money can create cash flow issues and prevent us having the funds to buy other things that we need.



Movement is simply ergonomics.


This is linked to 5S where we can lay out the workstations in the best possible way.


The difference being that we use the operators to help design the layout - because they are the ones who know best how it should be.



Waiting is one of the biggest wastes. Basically it covers everything that prevents product being made.


Equipment downtime, maintenance, not having an operator, not having any instructions for the job, not knowing what the job is, waiting for materials, waiting for a change over to be completed and setting up the machine. OOdles of wastes.



This is quite an easy one because it simply means making more product than you can sell: that you have no customer order for.


Sadly, it would be easy if everone could make only what the customer orders, but that is not so easy. We need to consider the size of the batches, forecast sales and ensure delivery dates.


The wastes here can include making way more than we need because the machine is set up to do it. To do this we need to buy more materials than we need, run the machine for longer than we need and, while running this unnecessary stuff, we are not making something we do need for another customer.



This is having too many steps in a process, that are not needed, making the process longer, wasting the time of the operator and introducing an extra opportunity for failure and, of course, costing extra materials.


Defects - And Rework

The second biggest waste.


It takes so much more money to make something and then fix it. The goal is "Right the First Time".


This should be easy but it is common for people to make corrections; to have to dismantle parts to replace or re-assemble parts correctly and even to replace issues due to the quality of incoming parts that have not been checked for quality.


Untapped Human Resources

I have no idea who thought up the name!


Basically, it says that we should use the skills that our existing employees have and not simply use them from 9 to 5 pushing buttons.


Waiting for operators? Why not cross-train. Indeed, the capability of employees is vast.


Autonomous Maintenance has proven that operators can be trained to make simple equipment repairs. Indeed, some of them have become technicians as their talents were discovered.