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Apr 6, 2010

10 Causes of Waste

The principles of the seven wastes are well known – and a lot of lean manufacturing/lean six sigma processes are targeted at minimizing this – do you know what the causes of it are? Do you know what to take out of your processes to improve them and reduce the dreaded muda?


Here are our top 10 causes of waste

1- Poor Layout

A Poor layout can result in excessive movement between areas by staff – for example – a common issue is where inventory is stored in relation to where it is needed

2- Poor work methods

3- Lack of adherence to process

Once you’ve got world class processes you need to ensure that people stick to them – failure to follow process is another common reason for excess inventories for example.

4- Incorrect performance measures

while measures are a good thing the wrong measure can drive the wrong behavior and increase waste.

5- Poor planning/forecasting

Ineffective forecasting can result in a business being incorrectly primed for what’s around the corner – again watch out for inventory stock piles to buffer against demand variability.

6- Poor Supplier quality
Poor suppliers will drive activity to compensate – again higher inventories and over processing.

7- Long setup time


8- Lack of organization

9- Lack of preventative maintenance

Protect the organization against excessive downtimes by enforcing a thorough preventative maintenance policy.

10- Lack of training

Your staff is your business! – a lack of training whether that’s on policies and procedures or on improvement tools will stagnate your organization and result in inefficiencies.