The 7 MUDA

As we saw in our last article of 2021/08/20 KAIZEN is more a state of mind than a real method.

However, the reduction of waste (MUDA) is a common thread in the continuous improvement process.

Muda refers to all activities that consume resources without creating added value.

  • Overproduction: producing more than necessary.
  • Waiting : products or operators who have to wait between two tasks or stages.
  • Transport: moving materials, parts, products, documents or information that does not add value for the customer.
  • Excessive processes: processes that are too complex in relation to the selling price.
  • Overstocking: anything that is not essential to the task at hand.
  • Movement: unnecessary movement of people, usually due to poor workstation ergonomics, which does not provide value to the customer.
  • Defects: which require rework, additional control, scrapping, customer dissatisfaction, etc.

It is also possible to add an 8th : Under-use of skills..

Lack of training, rigid and authoritarian management, little motivation, recognition and involvement lead to under-utilisation of employees' skills, is a serious impediment to creativity and team spirit!

Shigeo Shingo a great expert in Lean Manufacturing said:

« The most dangerous waste is the one you don't see »

Seeing waste is the first step towards eliminating it!

Go to the field, follow the company's processes, map them... Human nature is like this: when we see a defect, a problem, a waste, we can no longer do as we did before, we look for and always find an adapted solution to eliminate it.