Pawley Lean Institute

Pawley Hall, Room 460K
456 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-4542

Eight Wastes

Eight Wastes

Lean philosophy dictates anything that does not add value to a process or product, or that the customer is unwilling to pay for, is waste and should be eliminated. Each step of a process in the production of a good or service either adds value or waste to the end product. Ultimately, the elimination of waste increases an organization’s productivity and profit.

The 8 wastes within the Lean philosophy are discussed below along with office and manufacturing examples.

Office Example
Manufacturing Example
DefectWork that contains errors or lacks something necessary• Incorrect information being shared
• Data entry errors
• Forwarding incomplete documents
• Scrap
• Rework
• Missing parts
Producing more materials or information than customer demand• Creating reports no one reads/needs
• Making extra copies
• Providing more information than needed
• Producing more products than demand
• Batch process resulting in extra output
• Having a “push” production system
Idle time created when material, information, people or equipment is not ready• Ineffective meetings
• Waiting for meetings to start
• Files awaiting signatures/approvals
• Waiting for tools, parts, information
• Broken machines waiting to be fixed
• Raw materials not ready
Not Utilizing Talent
Not, or under, utilizing the talent of employees• Insufficient training
• High absenteeism and turnover
• Inadequate performance
• Employing people in the wrong position
• Not fully training employees
• Missing improvements by failing to listen to employees
Movement of materials or information that does not add value• Hand carrying paper to the next process
• Delivering unneeded documents
• Going to get signatures
• Moving products around before shipping
• Moving product from different workstations
• Moving inventory around to take stock
Excess materials on hand that the customers or employees do not need right now• Purchasing excessive office supplies
• Searching for computer files
• Obsolete files or office equipment
• More finished products than demand
• Extra materials taking up work space
• Broken machines sitting around
Movement of people that does not add value• Searching for files
• Walking/reaching to get materials
• Sifting through inventory to find what is needed
• Reaching to make adjustments
• Walking to get a tool multiple times
• Repetitive movements that could overwork/injure an employee
Extra Processing
Efforts that do not provide value from the customer's perspective• Unnecessary signatures on a document
• Making more copies of a document than will be needed
• Saving multiple copies of the same file in multiple locations
• Adding unneeded value to a product
• Using a more high-tech machine than needed
• Extra steps to correct avoidable mistakes