1.5 The Nine Wastes
The outcome of that study was to develop a routing system for the drivers and only in major cities and metropolitan areas, route the drivers with right turns only, eliminating the need to wait to the end of the traffic light to do a left hand turn. People don't want it when it's bad, it gets obsolete, and you end up throwing away excess inventory, a waste. So we talked about lean, and I introduced you to that concept as one of the drivers in an organization, and affecting the behavior of its members.
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In the culture we also look at waste and you can Google waste and you will find six wastes, or eight wastes, the standard part of the lean journey says eight wastes. In my experience I’ve readjusted them a little bit, I have nine wastes, and how do we go about eliminating them? So, one of the big wastes is overproduction. Why do we need to produce so much? If we only have a forecast of 1000 pieces, why do we produce 2500 thinking that the economies of scale are going to be better if we produce more? But we only have the need for 1000, so what happens to the other 1500? Well maybe eventually they will sell, but what about in the mean time? It takes time to put them on a shelf, to keep inventorying them, maybe to rebox them because they get stale and old in the warehouse. So is it really necessary? How about eliminating over production? Waiting, pet peeve of mine, how much time do you spend waiting for something to happen? Waiting for your programs to load, waiting for you know your software to be updated, waiting for somebody to give you an approval, waiting for paperwork before you can move on. How do we eliminate waiting time? Looking, one that I’ve added based upon a lot of years of working with clients in the manufacturing arena. Looking, looking for tools, looking for paperwork, looking for transportation, looking for a forklift, looking for parts, looking for inserts in order to go into a lathe machine so that you can do you know cutting or turning on a part. A company that hired me said, Dave, I’d like for you to help us with this lean journey. I said I would like for you to focus first on looking. How much time do you think you spend looking? They said probably not very much but I know there’s looking that’s going on. So we did a global survey with 1000 employees. Actually took time studies, and we found that out of the 1000 people, with some 800 people in the manufacturing area, 19% of their time was spent looking for something, 19% of some 700 peoples’ time, huge waste. So we did some initiatives, tool boxes and standard ways of taking care of paperwork and filing paperwork and we did a post survey later and we dropped that down to 6%. Still a big number, but a 13% saving in time spent looking, eliminating that waste. Transportation. How much time does it take for you to move things from one end of the plant to another? Or from, how many times do you walk back and forth delivering something? Is there a way to make that more convenient? Can you bundle things? UPS, about four years ago, did a huge study, six sigma study on transportation, and wanted to find is there a better way to deliver packages? The outcome of that study was to develop a routing system for the drivers and only in major cities and metropolitan areas, route the drivers with right turns only, eliminating the need to wait to the end of the traffic light to do a left hand turn. That added 6% more package delivery capability to every driver’s route. Transportation, a waste. Non-value added processing. Do we duplicate efforts? Do we check things that don’t need to be checked? Do we do things that really can be eliminated from the process and eliminate that waste? Excess inventory. Excess inventory goes bad. People don’t want it when it’s bad, it gets obsolete, and you end up throwing away excess inventory, a waste. Defects. Cars, automobiles, rework, all of that creates additional drain on resources within the organization. Is there a way to do it right the first time? Excess motion. Particularly in robotics, we look at algorithms to have the robot move from point to point in the most efficient straight line as possible in eliminating a additional motion. How about tools? You’re working on something, and your tool chest is way across the room, maybe in the garage, and you are having to move back and forth to look for a tool. If you take one tool, you go back to the part and you say well, I need another tool. So, you go back to the toolbox, and you have all this excess motion. What about underutilized resources? People that aren’t doing the job that they’re really good at. In one of my clients we created a pool of people that were trained, fully trained, fully capable of filling in for somebody that was on a vacation day or a personal day. Or if one department was having an increased work load, there were people that could float to that other department. These people were part of a solution to underutilized resources. These nine wastes create a tremendous amount of opportunity within an organization. How do we go about eliminating them? Another one of the cultural factors in a lean organization is accountability. On the screen you see an accountability model. You see a line in the middle there and above that line you see an accountable organization. Pretty simple. You find something that’s wrong, you acknowledge it, you take ownership of it, it gets fixed, it gets solved, it gets changed. A non-accountable organization acts in with behaviors that are exhibited there on the, below the line. Finger pointing. Wait for it to go away, you know, it’s always been there, so let’s just live with it, wait for somebody to tell me to do it. All of these are common, non-accountable behaviors that create waste and create an organization that is not moving forward. It is becoming more stagnant. Now, all of us, all organizations at one time or another, drop below the line of accountability. No one is perfect and no one can stay above the line forever. However, an accountable, a lean organization, a high-performance organization, understands that people, that there is mutual support, there’s mutual accountability, and people hold your feet to the fire, hold the department’s feet to the fire, and say, hey guys, we’ve dropped below the line, we’ve got to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps, and we’ve got to fix it, we’ve got to be an accountable department. So accountability is a huge part of a lean initiative. So we talked about lean, and I introduced you to that concept as one of the drivers in an organization, and affecting the behavior of its members.
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