In this blog series, we will describe the Seven Deadly Wastes and their impact on workplace productivity. We will focus on examples to help paint a picture of how each waste affects the office place, in the hopes that you will be able to identify where waste is occurring, and how you might prevent it. Catching waste before it happens will support your lean 5S office efforts while boosting morale and promoting overall workplace efficiency.
#1: Correction and Rework
This type of waste is related to all time and material spent correcting and re-doing a job. An example of this might be data-entry or invoice errors, ordering errors or editing and proofreading mistakes.
For example, Joe the office manager might print and bind 20 copies of an office report, only to realize that he made a proofreading mistake on page three. Now Joe has to go back and re-print the entire order, and re-bind the reports. Not only is he wasting his own time, but he is also wasting “materials, energy, equipment and labor” (Fabrizio / Tapping, pg. 5).
Are you rushing through your work only to find you missed important details?
As Hall of Fame Basketball coach John Wooden said, “if you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” Saving yourself from the deadly waste of correction and rework is about promoting a culture within yourself and to your employees that supports quality over quantity. You may save a little time by rushing your work, but the added waste of making mistakes will be much more detrimental to your workday than taking the time to do it right the first time. After all, accuracy is faster than speed.
Avoiding correction and rework is also about catching those mistakes and learning from them. Why are they occurring? When and by whom? Perhaps that person is overburdened and is making mistakes as a result. Only by going to the source (your employees), asking them questions and collecting data will you discover where the mistakes are occurring. This will allow you to find solutions to curb them and save your company precious time and money.
The Seven Deadly Wastes – which are so egregious as to be considered deadly – are as follows:
- Correction and Rework
- Unnecessary Motion
- Equipment Downtime
- Inventory and Storage
Blog Posts on Each Waste Will Be Published Throughout April and May.
Note: Many of the examples used in this blog series come from Thomas A. Fabrizio and Don Tapping’s fabulous book “5S For the Office”. Please check it out if you would like more information on the subject. It is available for purchase here.
Thomas Fabrizio, Don Tapping (2006). 5S For the Office,Organizing the Workplace to Eliminate Waste. Boca Raton: CRC Press. ISBN 978-1-56327-318-6
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