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.
This deadly waste irks us all at one time or another; waiting to see your doctor, waiting in line at the supermarket and waiting for your number at the DMV are all everyday forms of this waste.
But what about wait time in the office?
The fact is that wait time is costing your company money. This may mean something as simple as slow computer speed, or as complex as a multi-person chain of approvals and corrections coming from upstream.
Are your office policies making more work for your team?
For example, Sarah, who is the point of contact for her client, cannot ship the client’s order until she has their updated list of warehouses. Though the order was placed 7 days ago and was ready to ship 3 days ago, it is still being held in Shipping because the client’s office assistant is out sick and has not sent the shipping addresses. The reason Sarah does not have the shipping addresses yet is because it is not their policy to receive this information until the order has reached the shipping department. By changing one simple policy (requiring shipping information at the time of the order), Sarah would have had more time to receive the needed information and to eliminate the waste of waiting.
By approaching Sarah and asking her where she is seeing waste occurring, we are giving a voice to the waste, identifying its origin and creating a straightforward solution that everyone can get behind. This is the power of a 5S Lean office.
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