Waiting – TIMWOODS Is Unwell

Waiting is defined as one of the wastes of LEAN but is it always a waste? Is TIMWOODS Unwell?

Waiting

Why Are You Waiting?

There are many reasons that cause people and things to be waiting. Some are bad but some are good.

Waiting because material supplies have been delayed or because information is unavailable to complete documentation is bad and should be eliminated wherever possible but not every waiting time is bad. Effective businesses address these problems and minimise them.

In the modern business environment there is an enthusiasm to “sweat the assets” and whilst this brings short term gains it does not allow for thought and future planning. These are two things that are essential to the modern business.

One of the areas of waiting waste we can easily eliminate in many cases is the commute to and from work or to and from meetings. How much time is wasted at train stations and airports not to mention the daily traffic jam. The waiting here is undoubtedly a waste of the employee’s time but also impacts negatively upon their effectiveness at work.

If we are using a pull system then waiting at various stages may be an essential part of the process if it is to be effective. Having machines or people working flat out can result in work in progress which is the most evil of all inventory types.

Waste is defined in LEAN as anything for which the customer will not pay. As those of you who have read my previous blogs realise I do not think that this is a helpful definition.

Waiting has it’s benefits in some cases.

Analogy From The Hive

When the bees start work in the morning they could all fly out looking for forage but this doesn’t happen. They wait.

They send out scout bees to assess the situation and decide upon the best course of action for foraging. Whilst they do this the bulk of the flying workforce wait. By waiting and only going when the planning has been done the hive is at the most efficient.

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 –¬†https://www.wellsassoc.co.uk/contact/

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