Seven Forms of Waste

When a facility produces too much of a product, it is a form of waste. Even if the product does eventually sell, it causes certain types of waste. For example, if you have too much of a product, it needs to be stored in a warehouse, which is wasting space.

When speaking about waste, lean experts usually refer to seven specifically. These include: transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, over processing, overproduction, and defects. Elimination of these seven kinds of waste can help companies reduce costs, increase employee engagement and customer happiness, and increase profits.

The waste of inventory involves storing products or materials that are not needed at this time. Excess inventory results in a waste of space, and it wastes the cost associated with the physical inventory. Although it is a significant concern in manufacturing, it occurs in other sectors as well.

Seven Forms of Waste diagram

7 Wastes

7 Wastes – Seven Wastes – 7 Wastes of Lean – 7 Wastes Analysis – 7 Wastes Framework – This lean six sigma methodology (also known as 8 wastes) helps identify waste and other types of issues in the workplace. The 7 wastes framework includes defects, transportation, inventory, overprocessing, movement, overproduction and waiting.

Defects are wasted products completed not right the first time around. Inventory and overproduction are excessive quantities of raw materials or finished products. Transportation and movement are unnecessary movement of things or people. Overprocessing is making the product beyond customer expectations and waiting is simply waiting for materials, preventing timely completion of products.

7 wastes

7 Wastes diagram

Lean Eight Wastes

8 Wastes – Lean Eight Wastes – 8 Wastes Analysis – 8 Wastes Framework – 8 Wastes Business Methodology – 8 Wastes model also known as seven wastes or eight wastes of lean is one of the top Lean Six Sigma business frameworks aimed at establishing various inefficiencies within an organization.

There were 7 wastes in the lean methodology originally however an 8th waste, namely the waste of human intellect, was added to recognize the importance of human beings and their creativity in the business process. Below sample images are examples of 8 Wastes used in business management.

8 wastes

Lean Eight Wastes diagram