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