In this blog we discuss Tim Woods, the enemy of Lean.
Kaizen is a core practice when embedding a Lean methodology across your business. The literal translation is “change better” and it involves applying continuous improvement to every department and process. By taking small steps on a regular basis, you create a shared mindset that focuses on making improvements wherever possible without waiting for large issues to arise.
Continuous improvement as part of a Lean management system requires commitment from every member of staff. Only by making it a central part of everyone’s role can you facilitate top results, so it should be embraced by managers and team members alike.
However, there’s someone you will always need to be looking to eliminate whenever you see him – we call him Tim Woods, the enemy of Lean.
Don’t worry, Tim Woods isn’t a person within your team – he’s simply an easy way to remember the eight types of waste that we are constantly seeking out and eliminating through our Lean programme. Before you go any further, you must first ensure that you can identify the different types of waste that make up Tim Woods.
Each letter of “Tim Woods” stands for a type of waste, which are explained below.
The moving of products, people and information requires some form of transportation. It could be physical logistics such as your fleet of vehicles, movement of staff within your premises, or the digital infrastructure that houses your data. Unnecessary transportation must be identified and removed, as without doing this there will be other wastes created such as waiting, or even potential defects caused by damage during transportation.
Inventory waste is storing parts, pieces, or documentation ahead of requirements. Purchasing raw materials only when required, reducing work in progress, and improving planning will all help to reduce the costs related to excess inventory and help free-up cash for the growth of the business.
Bending, turning, reaching, lifting – these actions not only slow down your processes by increasing non-value add time but can also cause fatigue and even accidents. It’s time to take a look at your workplace design, including your storage systems and decide whether they’re optimised or in need of an upgrade. This is where our wide range of visual management solutions come into play, such as our 5S cuboids.
Do your employees ever have to wait for something in order to fulfil their duties? It could be instructions, information, parts, equipment or access to any other asset required for the task at hand. By making everything accessible at a moment’s notice, your staff can get to work without wasting valuable time.
When you stockpile products, you’re expending energy and using much more space than required. Instead, your company should produce only what is immediately required, which benefits both workflow and cashflow
Whilst quality and consistency are key, many businesses accidentally move into a system where over-processing is causing problems. This usually takes the form of tighter tolerances and higher grade materials than necessary, which eat into productivity and reduce your profitability.
Defects are when the product or service doesn’t meet the expectations or specification the customer wants. Any defects must be either rectified or removed, which might involve physical parts being reworked, repaired, or replaced, but also may include rectifying mistakes in documentation caused by communication barriers.
You hired each of your employees because you believe in their skills, so make sure to make the most of them. This means using delegation to full effect and training staff who are lacking certain abilities. By giving everyone the opportunity to put their knowledge and expertise to good use, your business will run smoothly across every department.
We’re here to help you either start your Lean journey from scratch or significantly improve your current system through visual management products and increasing Lean awareness through the coaching and training of your team members. To find out more about how Lean can transform your business, get in touch with our team of specialists on +44 (0)1482 296451 or fill in our contact form.
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