When you hear something about Lean management, what are the first things that come to your mind? Probably adding value, reducing waste and continuously improving – and you’d be right! Before we start, let’s take a quick recap of what these concepts are:
- Value is all about the customer and what they are willing to pay for
- Waste is go-getter’s worst nightmare – it’s related to everything that is not essential for the process to run, nord does it add value for your customer
- Continuously improving, aka Kaizen, is a mindset that allows organizations to generate and review improvements in a cyclical way.
If you’re not familiar with these concepts, we have some content that will surely help you understand what we’re talking about here. Check out our Beginner’s Guide for Future Lean Experts and also What is Waste in Lean Management so we can get on the same page.
We’ve seen before that there are traditionally seven different types of waste. Some contemporary researchers suppose there’s a new one – waste of skills – totalizing eight waste sources. Wastes are everywhere and our mission here is to empower you to fight and eliminate those practices by going Lean.
1. Waste of Transportation
The waste of transportation can be easily explained as moving materials, documents or pieces from one place to another. A very common example is when you have in-paper requests that need to be shared.
The best way to reduce this waste is by digitizing and automating your process. Pipefy is an online tool that allows you to eliminate in-paper requests – here you can have it all centralized and digitized. Pipefy also has a great automation feature, that allows the demands to move forward according to certain information or as soon as it’s ready, making it immediately available to all who will use it.
Automating is one of the best ways to avoid transportation wastes – you don’t have to get up from your chair, walk or even use a car for the process to move forward because it does so automatically.
2. Waste of Inventory
The waste of inventory can be defined as keeping any material or work other than what is presently needed to satisfy customers demand. Organizations can keep extra products, supplies, work in process and documentations that they don’t need— even unread emails can be considered as inventory waste. The reason why it is important to keep inventory at a safe level is that it’s highly related to your company’s cash flow. This means that if you’re holding onto more inventory than you should, your financial health is more likely to be in bad condition.
With Pipefy you can control lead time and cycle time using advanced reports: two important key performance indicators related to inventory performance. The Kanban view also helps you avoid inventory waste as it tells you the amount of work in progress and helps you predict the amount of work that will be delivered. You can use data to understand if that’s enough inventory to satisfy the service level required to fight off waste.
3. Waste of Motion
Every time you spend searching, reaching or moving objects, you’re wasting motion and it is usually caused by badly structured workplaces. Consider a typical contract approval process: it has plenty of motion waste and people who deal with it usually fight with many come and goes and searches to have it approved.
With Pipefy, poorly designed workplaces and chaotic situations are not welcome.. Here managers are empowered to easily customize their workplaces and workflows to fit their needs, avoiding wasteful practices. Having information centralized in one place makes it easier to find and move information from one place to another
4. Waste of Waiting
If you have ever been through a situation where you had to wait for approvals, information or products, you have been through a wasteful situation. This occurs when things are not ready for people, causing the system to clog. The best way to avoid waiting is to practice rigorous control of how long activities are taking, and making them available for others as soon as they’re ready.Pipefy provides SLA control in three different levels, making sure things are not taking longer than they should. By setting SLAs combined with automation rules, you’ll guarantee activities are taking the ideal amount of time and all necessary parties have fast access.
Overproduction waste is considered the mother of all wastes. It consists of making more products or offering more services than the customer needs right now, like updating reports nobody will look at, or having an enormous inventory. The main cause of overproduction is allocating resources incorrectly – these companies already met clients’ expectations, but for some reason keep investing in it.
Using Pipefy, you will only produce what has been previously requested by someone – meaning there is a real demand for producing. Besides that, through the kanban view, you can control the amount of work-in-process, avoiding producing too many products or services.
6. Waste of Overprocessing
The waste of overprocessing occurs when something is designed with more resources than needed, like more material, space, equipment or movements. A practical example is taking too long on a given assignment or requiring multiple levels of approval for a simple task. If those situations sound common in your routine, you’re probably overprocessing things.
The best way to fight those practices is by eliminating unnecessary steps, and that’s exactly what Pipefy empowers you to do. In our platform, you can quickly adapt your process structure in order to keep it Lean, maintaining only things that add value and necessary steps.
7. Waste of Rework
The waste of rework consists of delivering anything less than the level the customer has requested, like products with defects, having a lot of repairs and delivering poor quality products or services. Basically, it’s everything that does not meet the clients’ expectations. The best way to combat this is by creating in-process checks and automations warning humans that something went wrong. In Lean management, those concepts are known as jidoka and poka-yoke devices, respectively.
You can create mandatory fields that work as error proofing devices – the demand can’t move forward if it doesn’t meet certain criteria, establishing a standardized execution. Together with automation rules, mandatory fields create a powerful pull system capable of avoiding thousands of rework practices.
8. Waste of Skills
The waste of skills is the most recent waste considered in the literature – some researchers also call this waste of knowledge. It happens when organizations are not using employees to their full potential and not getting the most out of human resources – they are usually doing brainless work, like manual and repetitive tasks. Providing automation rules to build complex scenarios is how Pipefy allows you to eliminate these tasks – you’ll be impressed with how much easier and automated your routine becomes.
If you’re looking for a tool to improve your processes, gain efficiency and avoid wasteful practices, you have come to the right place. Pipefy is the Lean management platform that is reshaping the way do-ers work by delivering consistency and quality outputs, while still providing a framework to adapt quickly and the data to make smarter decisions. Stop making your job harder than it has to be. Lean your routine today!