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.
Time spent waiting for equipment that is slow or inefficient is considered waste. An example of this would be a machine breaking down or requiring constant maintenance. In order to minimize equipment downtime, it is important to know and understand all office equipment and to recognize when one piece of machinery is being stretched too far between multiple users. Regular scheduled maintenance checks will help prevent this, along with making sure that machines are not being overburdened by users.
Five minutes every week could save you hours
Another form of this waste is failing to have the appropriate supplies for equipment available at all times. For example, Jake is working on printing out an important proposal for a client and runs out of printer ink. He then has to run over to a colleague’s office and print on her computer (racking up the waste of motion along the way, plus the waste of waiting on the part of the colleague who has been interrupted in her work).
To correct this, daily or weekly checks should be scheduled to replenish actively consumed supplies like ink and paper. This is a form of keeping up with supply and demand behind the scenes – an often overlooked aspect even in an organized 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.
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