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Eliminate Waste: Motion, Waiting, and Transportation

There are seven forms of waste — overproduction, overprocessing, motion, waiting, transportation, inventory, and defects. Of those seven, motion, waiting, and transportation waste are closely linked. These share similar root causes, so you can use similar strategies to counteract them.

Motion, waiting, and transportation

Motion refers to how employees are required to move — from their desk to the printer in another room, for example — while creating a product or providing a service.

Employees may waste time waiting for another process — or print job — to complete before performing a task or service. And all forms of transportation, other than delivering a product to the customer, are considered wasteful.

Poor design, poor layout, and inadequate training

The root causes of motion, waiting, and transportation waste are poor design, poor layout, and inadequate training.

Poorly designed processes

Poorly designed processes may be a leftover of a push-based production environment, used to create large batch sizes. These bloated processes may cause supply shortages and an unreliable supply chain, which generate waiting waste. Also, excess inventory needs to be moved to a warehouse, which causes transportation waste.