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Waste Elimination

Remember at all times, that in business we only make money when we are ADDING VALUE to our products

Waste Elimination

Every activity we carry out in business today is fundamentally made up of 3 factors.

  • Value Adding
    • Defined as – Any activity that changes the product in line with the customers requirements making it closer to end the end product that customer is willing to pay for.
  • Non Value Adding
    • Defined as – Any activity that is required under the current circumstances but does not contribute to customer perceived value.
  • Waste
    • Defined as – Any activity that does not add value to the product and is not required under the current circumstances.

Waste Elimination
– The Classic 7 Wastes

  • Overproduction – Making more parts than required.
  • Delay – Waiting for processing, parts sitting in storage, etc.
  • Transporting – Moving parts to various storage locations, from process to process, etc.
  • Over-Processing – Doing more “work” to a part than is required.
  • Inventory – Committing money and storage space to items not sold.
  • Motion – Movement of parts or people.
  • Defects – Don’t make wrong!


There is further information available on this web site to help you with your introduction of Waste Elimination into your workplace.

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Important Note

It is important to remember at all times, that in business we only make money when we are doing the Value Added bit, we must therefore concentrate on the other 2 categories, and strive to eliminate waste and reduce the amount of Non Value Added activity if we are to be competitive in the business world.

What is Waste

It is important to understand what waste is because if we don’t understand what it is and how it occurs its going to be very difficult to eliminate it.

Commonly there are 7 wastes in lean manufacturing. However before looking at these 7 types of waste, it is important to understand what is meant by the term waste. Waste is often defined “as any activity that consumes resources but creates no value for the customer”. It is an activity that the customer is not willing to pay for.

Within business processes, the activities that create value as defined above make up a very small percentage of the total activities. By eliminating or reducing the number of these wasteful activities represents a huge opportunity for businesses to improve their performance.

Elimination or reduction of the 7 wastes will

  • Reduce costs
  • Increase profits
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Reduce rework
  • Improve delivery time

While this page is written predominantly for manufacturing, that does not exclude other business sectors from being affected by waste in the same way, “Improvement is not about the things you do well – that’s work, improvement is about removing the things that get in the way of your work.  The headaches, the things that slow you down, that’s what business improvement is all about”.  ~Bruce Hamilton.

Waste is the biggest head ache of all, if you wish to discuss this further in context of your own business sector, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

“Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage. The easiest of all wastes and the hardest to correct is the waste of time, because wasted time does not litter the floor like wasted material”. ~ Henry Ford

Start Improving Your Business Today


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