|Simple and brilliant illustration of lean thinking..|
What are the factors impeding adding value to a process or product ? Though the discussion is focused mainly on manufacturing, all the concepts are equally applicable in the services context too.
An effort is made here to classify the prioritise the wastes for removal according to the impact it has on our society.
1. Over Waiting - Some examples of waiting are given here -
- When a customer is waiting for the delivery of a service, there is a waste of time.
- When client in a litigation has to endlessly wait for the court to deliver the verdict, there is waiting, which is a waste of time.
- When morning commuters wait at a busy traffic junction for the lights to turn green, again it is waiting, a waste of time as there is improper matching of demand, traffic and commuters to capacity, the limitation on vehicles that can pass through a lane and speed limitations to avoid accidents. An ambulance carrying a critically injured patient to hospital waiting at a traffic signal can be fatal for the patient.
|The crux of the Lean Thinking process ..|
Inventory is held to overcome uncertainties -
- uncertainty in supply,
- uncertainty in transport,
- uncertainty in storage,
- uncertainty in the conversion process,
- uncertainty in the ability of the work force to add value,
- uncertainty in customer demand,
- uncertainty in government policies and what not.
1. May, Mathew, Its time to wage an all-out war on waste, HBR, December 2012.
2. Womack,Thomas, Daniel Jones (1996), Lean Thinking, Simon and Schuster, NY.
PS : The wastes ranking has been done with inputs from an MBA student group with limited industrial exposure but excellent practical exposure.