Real top companies are the ones that succeeded in eliminating waste from their production process. Almost every company or organization wants to be top of the line. That is the best guarantee for continuity. However, how do you get there? Also, what is top of the line? Does your organization measure up? And what waste occurs in your production process?
What is waste in the production process?
Waste is the sum of activities within a process, which according to the customer have no added value for the end product or service. We like to label them green and red activities, where green activities do, and red activities do not add value. Top companies know how to optimize green and eliminate red.
Which activities are green very much depends on a large number of business- and industry-specific factors. The red activities, on the other hand, are identical for each company, although not all of them are equally relevant. It’s more important to find out which activities do and do not contribute to attaining your company goals.
How does your goal define your waste?
If you strive to be the fastest in the industry, then all activities that increase your lead time such as pauses, storage, transport and handling, and overproduction are disruptive red activities, or waste. However, if you want to be the cheapest, then you want the least amount of downtime, changeover time, machine speed loss and failure. And if you strive for quality, then all errors are a no-go.
The first question you need to ask yourself is: do we want to be faster, better or cheaper than the competition.
That choice defines the answers to the question: what waste do I have and where does it occur? And how does it affect my targets? In other words, you need to find out how good you are right now. First of all, that question requires a clear insight into your process. Which steps occur specifically? It may come as a surprise that many organizations have no clear view on the specifics of their process. Techniques like VSM (Value Stream Mapping) or Makigami may help to define each step on a generic or a particular level. But that still doesn’t tell you where waste occurs.
So the crucial step is to measure those steps. Because: to measure is to know.
Measuring waste in the production process
How often does a machine halt? And why does it stop? How much of the official capacity of the machine do you really use? You can measure this with OEE. OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) shows you whether you use your production resources efficientlyand clearly shows the most important instances of waste.
Once you have insight into waste, you can develop improvement initiatives and techniques to eliminate waste from your work process actively.
Want to know more about waste in your work process, and what you can do to eliminate waste? Please contact us for information or an online demo!