What is waste? Waste (in Japanese muda), this term has become one of the most commonly used terms within today’s global business world. But what is waste.. really? Waste is defined as; “Any activity that does not add value to the customer”. Furthermore, the customer is always the starting point in a lean system, so defining waste starts with defining what a customer values. According to Toyota, waste in product development generally occurs in one of two broad areas:
1. Waste by poor engineering that results in low levels of product or process performance. This is the most destructive waste.
2. Waste in the product development process itself.
Furthermore what is very interesting and needs to be highlighted is that Toyota has managed to “level the flow”, not only by eliminating waste (muda) but also by eliminating “unevenness” (mura) and “overburden” (muri). Battling and eliminating muda does not accurately represent all that “lean” is about. True lean thinking does not focus on one-dimensional muda elimination; it works to eliminate three types of interrelated waste: muda, mura, and muri.Read More