Follow the Money: Operational Excellence for Today’s World
3. Processing: Effort that adds no value to a product or service. While we don’t like to admit it, many of our systems are over-engineered and over-featured for the client. This is an example of over processing.
4. Inventory: Any unnecessary supplies or materials that don’t support the ‘Just-In-Time Production System.’ How many inventory turns does your business go through annually? Peek into your warehouse; I’ve yet to meet an installer who doesn’t have this waste. Eliminating excess inventory can help avoid obsolete hardware. You can also have vendors own and manage some inventory, unloading the work and economic liability.
5. Motion: Any movement of people that doesn’t add value to the product. Think of the time lost in your production process as your employees look for tools and parts, or walk to another area of your business to get materials. Basic workplace organization, standardized work, visual controls and standardized parts can make a huge difference.
6. Defects: Repair of a product or service to fulfill customer requirements. There is nothing more wasteful than having to do a job twice because it was not done right the first time. Call-backs, defective parts and bad installs can create a significant drain on your business resources. Are systems fully pre-tested?
7. Over production: Producing more than needed. Building ahead of demand is often the result of uneven scheduling and can lead to costly inventory stockpiles.
No business will thrive in today’s economy without a disciplined program of waste elimination. Luckily, you are not alone; thousands of companies have gone down this path before, leaving a long trail of material and case studies that can be your guide. These lean principles, pioneered by Toyota and employed by thousands of companies around the world, can provide custom installers with the means to develop their own journey to a waste-free future. •
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