Upstream Advisory I Performance


How to identify, eliminate and prevent waste

Change Better. We support companies to structurally improve their business…

The elimination of waste is one the prerequisits for building a successful company. It results in cost reductions and optimizing resources. As such it helps to increase profitability. Based on our experience, we share some thoughts how to identify, eliminate and prevent waste

The main 8 types of waste are known as "Tim Woods", as follows :  


Any unnecessarily movement of materials, products, documents costs money and time without adding any value to the customer. Toolkit -> Value Stream Mapping 


Creating and holding excessive inventory (materials, products or documents) costs money and increases lead times. Toolkit -> Kanban and Value Stream Mapping


Unnecessary movement of people have significant effect on overall efficiency. Toolkit -> Gemba Walks; Go look and see at the production line 


Any time people are waiting, lead times are increasing and no value for which the customer is willing to pay is being added. Toolkit -> define, document and implement Standardize Work to sync resources


(on average 40% of total waste) producing more products than customer demand increases work in progress and lead times, hides poor quality, requires extra storage and promotes batch and queue approach. Toolkit -> Kanban 


Refers to doing more work (adding more features and specifications) than the customer is willing to pay for. Toolkit -> continuous improvement approach with PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) to realize a more efficient path to value 


Anything that isn't first time right requires rework or replacement and have a direct impact on the bottom line. Toolkit -> 5 Whys can be used to investigate a specific failure to find a problems real root cause


Not fully utilizing people’s skills, creativity or talents. Toolkit -> implement Continuous Improvement Culture with Agile Team Setup


A picture says more than 1.000 words. A video is worth 30k pictures, but an experience is worth much more. In case you are interested in the enemies of lean and examples of waste, see below.

…with our head in the sky and feet in the mud