Waste is bad!

Lean is good

According to Lean (Kaizen) philosophy, waste (muda)elimination represents one of the essential activities of profit management.

The Japanese word muda (waste) means waste of material, time and any other activity which is not adding value. According to this philosophy in each company there are just two type of activities : ones adding value and ones not adding values (muda). Clients pay for adding value activities, only.

In order to exemplify: during a technological process the spent time to fix one part on a machine is not adding value. Spent time when the machine is transforming the part does.
In warehouse spent time when a lift truck move and lift a pallet is not adding value. Spent time when the pallet is placed in the truck does.
The spent time in the company to discuss about material quantity which must be ordered to supplier is not adding value. The moment when the order is placed is adding value.
Few years ago, participating in a workshop for supply management lean flow I have discovered total time for placing an order to a supplier counted 370 minutes!!! However, writing and sending the order took 10 minutes, only.

Even the management team is very focus on increasing the revenue of the company if they do not pay attention to non-adding value activities is like having a money printing machine and with one hand we take money from the printer and with the other one put them into shredder machine. And this is not an exaggerate comparison, at all.

Much more than this, if your company is a service provider company your inefficiency affects your customers as well, wasting their time.


Let’s suppose you place an order on line and get confirmation for the next day delivery. You stay at home waiting for your goods. Wait, wait and wait …and the order is not coming. Call to call centre, wait, wait and…wait in the cue. Finally, an operator informed you that for certain reasons your order will be delivered one day letter.

So much wasted time and so much frustration! This is mainly due to the fact that an on-line company is so inefficient in terms or their deliveries.

If we as a managers would allocate time to understand not only on what we are doing in our department but also on how and when we do things we would have been amazed to find out that our people spend probably no more than one third of the time on adding value activities.

Also, we would realize how bad is for your company this waste and how simple it should be to tackle with them, one by one, having a Lean system in place, setting order and discipline in all processes.

Waste is bad for your company. However, your waste affects your customers , as well. Even they pay for adding value activities, only.

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