5S

5S supports robust, stable, and reliable processes. Simply put, this tool consists of five steps that transform a workspace into one that is efficient, effective, and safe. Following those five steps, in order, is the most effective way to create order out of chaos, uncover process problems, and create a work environment that people want …

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Process Mapping

When it comes to making improvements in your business, process mapping is step number 1. Do you know you have opportunities, but don’t know where to start? Now you do; start by mapping the process. Process mapping is the best tool to move you from a vague feeling that there is a problem to concrete …

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Motion

Business is all about motion. There aren’t many businesses where the employees just sit still. Motion is everywhere in a business, and we expect it. Movement is how we can see activity happening, but again, too much is a problem. We want our employees, our material, our information to move so we can get things …

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Inventory

Just as with Transportation, Inventory is usually just part of having a business. Inventory is what lets you get a product to your customers without making them wait so that you can meet their needs before your competitor does. The key with Inventory is to have as little as you possibly can. Consider three kinds …

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Transportation

Transportation is unavoidable. Things, people, and information need to move around if a business is going to exist. The point with this waste (and the others) isn’t to try to eliminate it. That just doesn’t work. The idea is to recognize that any transportation could be a waste. When you hear about things moving around, …

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Non-Utilized Skills

This is the hardest waste to see, and nearly impossible to measure. Nevertheless, not utilizing the skills you or your employees have when you need to keeps you from moving your business forward. Need an example? OK, imagine this. Your company provides some type of custom work. Each thing you make and sell or each …

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Waiting

I’m sure that neither you or anybody in your company just stands around waiting. So, why is Waiting on this list? Well, think about the last time you couldn’t find something. Of course, you looked for it. Maybe you found it quickly, or maybe it took a really long time. Maybe you had to ask …

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Overproduction

To have something to sell, you need to make it. Sometimes, though, you make too much. On the surface, it seems a bit silly to make things you can’t sell, but every company does it. Overproduction is everywhere if you know where to look. Next time you’re in the bakery section of your supermarket at …

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Defects

OK, this one’s easy. If you’ve produced something that you can’t sell because it isn’t right, it’s a Defect. Burnt cookies, gadgets that don’t work, lost baggage, an incorrect diagnosis, they’re all defects. We all know a defect when we see one, and when your business has one, you know it costs you money. Figuring …

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