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 service job you do is a little different. So when a customer calls and wants something, you give them a quote. Someone in your business does the quotes. They were trained well, and provide quotes for anything and everything as efficiently as you could ask for. They’ve got all their files (somewhere), and they know all the tricks to get out an accurate quote. They’ve been doing it for long enough that they don’t have to ask around, they just do it. Then, off they go on vacation, and the quotes go on hold. Why, because nobody else got trained. Others in your business could do a quote; they’ve got the aptitude and the skills, but they never got trained. So, those basic skills aren’t going to use when you need them – and you’ll just have to wait until your quoting employee gets back and hope that you don’t lose any work.
Need another example? OK. How many ideas do you get from your employees on how to make things easier, faster and more efficient in your business? How many have you implemented? Dozens, hundreds, more than that? Probably not. They’re out there, though. People are really good at figuring out how to do a job better. Most aren’t as good at speaking up. If you aren’t engaging your employees and actively soliciting, and implementing ideas to improve your workplace, you have Non-Utilized Skills all around you.