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, pay attention, you may have found some transportation waste that you can reduce.

Consider this example in a restaurant. Each week, food a restaurant supplies are purchased and delivered. Since there isn’t much room in the kitchen area, lots of these items are stored in the basement. Each time someone needs something, down they go to the basement to get it. Every single thing that got delivered to the restaurant had to be brought downstairs by someone, and every single thing makes its way back up to the main floor- usually one thing at a time. It gets to be a lot of trips. Since there is a lot of stuff down there, some of those items have to be picked up and moved around, probably by an employee who is getting paid to prepare food, clean dishes, or set tables. Instead, they are making little trips, delivering, moving or getting something, engaging in the waste of Transportation.

Imagine if there were fewer trips. What if the kitchen area were organized enough so that some of that stuff could be right where it was needed? What if there were a dry erase board next to the stairs, and someone made fewer trips and brought more things up? What if the basement were better organized so that less stuff had to be moved around down there? Employees would spend less time transporting things, and more time cooking food, cleaning up, and setting tables for paying customers.

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