Transport Waste – TIMWOODS Is Unwell

Is Employee Transport Waste The Big Sin?

As we discussed in the previous blog the first letter of TIMWOODS stands for Transport and is an important area to consider when considering waste within the business. As we move to net zero TIMWOODS Transport Waste is likely to be one of the most important areas to consider.


When we think about transport our minds naturally turn to the movement of goods. When I was but a boy accountant Just In Time was becoming popular in many industries in the UK. One of the requirements we were told for JIT to be effective was that all your suppliers should be no more than thirty minutes from you.

Modern supply chains have increased the waste of transport by many times with suppliers now being hours, days or even weeks (if moving goods by sea) from their ultimate destination. A combination of Covid and Brexit has shown how vulnerable many businesses have become as a result of this waste following their move toward low cost supply from overseas. Undoubtedly Transport has been shown up once again to be an area of waste within the organisation the cost of which may well outweigh the advantages of low price. Many businesses are reviewing the advice they were given with regard to the reliability of their supply chain as a result of recent events. Not before time in my opinion.

An area of Transport waste that was little considered pre Covid but has now made its way to the front of the queue is the movement of employees before, during and after the work day. Many people waste hours, days or even weeks of their life every year transporting themselves to and from their place of work or to meetings.

Yes, This Is Part Of Your Working Day

If we consider that the working day starts when the employee leaves their home and finishes when they return we would have a very different view of this area of waste. As a self employed person I, along with many others have realised the cost of this waste for some while. I am working when I travel to a client but if the client is not paying for my travelling time as well as expenses then it is a cost of the project and definitely waste.

Please have a look at my blog What Constitutes Work? Here: What Constitutes Work?

Enlightened employees and employers have begun to realise how easy it is in many cases to eliminate or dramatically reduce this area of waste by home working and have grabbed the opportunity. Some employers have grasped the opportunity whilst others who feel unable to trust their employees have treated it with suspicion. This is not a problem of home working but of management style.

Maybe the solution to one of our biggest Transport wastes is actually management training and a change of attitude rather than a supply chain one!!!

Never before have the words of the great Seth Godin that “management is not the same as leadership” been more appropriate.

Grasp the opportunity to reduce employee travelling time to a minimum by reducing Transport waste.

It’s good for the business and good for your carbon footprint in the move towards net zero.

If you want to look at this further we have both manufacturing and service simulations to enable everyone to be more effective then please contact us for details.

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Analogy From The Bee Hive

Bees minimise transport waste by having a highly effective communication system that enables them to produce the best trade off between distance and reward. Transport waste is reduced to a minimum by each worker having clear instructions about what needs to be collected and delivered and the optimum route. When a better solution is found this is communicated quickly, clearly and unambiguously to all workers.

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