I have never met a business process that did not have waste.

Any process step that adds cost or time but adds no value contains waste. Lean principles state that there are seven types of waste. I have listed some overly simplified examples in an attempt to better explain each type of waste.



(1) Overproduction

If you made 20 gifts for a party you are hosting and only 10 people attended, then you overproduced by 10.

(2) Waiting

If you have 5 people that assist with making your party gifts and 2 of them are waiting around for the others to complete their steps before they can begin, then you have some non-value added wait time in your process.

(3) Transportation

If you made 20 gifts and you have to temporarily store them in one location and then move them to a final location for the party, then you have some transport waste.

(4) Over processing or processing too much

Over processing is when you spend more time and effort on a product or service than the customer values. If you paid for extra trinkets to go on the gift and it added additional time to make the gifts, but the customers did not see the value, then you may have some over processing waste.

(5) Inventory

Using the 20 gift example above, you now have an inventory of 10 gifts that you have to store or stock.

(6) Motion

Waste related to motion is focused on additional movement when creating your product. An example for improving waste related to motion is ensuring you minimize the distance between equipment, people, and/or material needed to create the product.

(7) Defects

Defects are a waste because you have to do rework to fix the defect thus wasting time and money.

Branner Consulting, LLC can help you at any stage along your journey from process documentation to implementing process improvement projects. We also provide coaching and training in Six Sigma and Lean methodologies.