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Muda (not murder) on your production line or organisation?


The Toyota exercise categorised 7 potential wasteful steps in a cycle: 

  • Overproduction – producing more than your customers demand
  • Waiting – Unnecessary lead-time between each stage of the production process
  • Transportation – Inefficient movement of materials or components towards the final product
  • Inappropriate Processing – Working on the product too many times or inappropriate tooling
  • Unnecessary Inventory – This is WIP stemming from overproduction or leading to increased waiting periods and inefficient use of floor space
  • Unnecessary Motion – Excess or inefficient movement of people, machines, limbs (walking, lifting, stretching) in the production line
  • Defects – Rework or scrapping of WIP or the final products

Modern Lean Manufacturing adds an 8th category: Workforce – Workers are often viewed as being skilled only with their hands. However organisations fail to recognise other skills that employees can demonstrate: ability to communicate, be creative, be innovative. 

Muda can be visible in offices too: from overproduction in terms of printed pages and documents;  waiting due to slow machinery or computers; movement of reports delays in transmitting electronic data; over processing from multiple data entries for the same customer record or product records; inefficient inventories from excess office supplies and unused desks; unnecessary motion from poor office layout to access printing and copy facilities or movement between offices; defects from scrapped reports or poor data entry. In terms of the 8th category, offices fail to empower individuals to make valued decisions and actions or having an over-bearing hierarchical chain of command.

Business Doctors can work with your organisation to identify areas of inefficiencies and develop strategies to streamline your processes. These ultimately will lead to business owners being able to focus ON business growth, rather business growth being hampered by inefficient utilising of resources.

On a closing note – Muda can apply to our personal lives too.