The manufacturing process is not the only area of a company that incurs waste on a regular basis. Although most of us focus on the factory floor to identify the improvements needed to increase our competitiveness, many companies find abundant opportunities for waste reduction in the office.
In the office environment, the 8 classic waste types of the Lean methodology manifest in different ways than we see on the factory floor. Here is a list of the 8 wastes of Lean, and some ideas about how they manifest in the office environment.
Transportation = movement of the work. Manifestations include handoffs where the work is transferred from one person to another. Transportation of electronic files is particularly insidious because it frequently results in multiple, varying copies of the work, which must eventually be reconciled. It leads to other wastes such as defects, overproduction, and processing. Transportation is also an opportunity for a defect when the work goes to the wrong person or fails to get to the right person.