AFSO21 – The Eight Types of Waste
By Capt. Mark Vadaro, 507th Air Refueling Wing
/ Published May 08, 2008
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Oklahoma -- Within the average process, there are steps that are "Value Added," "Non-Value Added," and "Non-Value Added But Necessary."
To determine how steps are categorized, ask yourself, "If the customer knew about this step, would he/ she pay for it?"
If the customer is unwilling to pay for a step and the step is not necessary (i.e., dictated by AFI, DOD Directive, T.O., Statutory or Regulatory Laws, etc.), we define the step as "Non-Value Added." Doing anything that is non-value added is waste (doing something for nothing, generally at a cost of some type of resource).
There are eight types of waste recognized within the AFSO21 program. These can be remembered with the acronym "DOWNTIME." These wastes include:
D - Defects (errors that cause rework, reclassification, or scrap)
O - Overproduction (producing a higher quantity than what's needed)
W - Waiting (people, parts, and equipment not being fully employed)
N - Non-standard and Overprocessing (doing more than what's needed on a unit)
T - Transportation (moving people, parts, and equipment unnecessary distances)
I - Injuries (focuses on people getting hurt but also incorporates equipment and part damage)
M - Motion (excessive movement within a work cell)
E - Excess Inventory (having more parts/supplies than what can be obtained or consumed within a reasonable time)
There are significant costs associated with waste. Waste often adds time, material, labor, and impairs mission accomplishment. It also places into question leadership ability, teamwork, knowledge, and skill.
Waste is not always easy to identify and sometimes it takes someone from outside or new to the process to identify waste. Things you can do to help reduce or eliminate waste include:
Educate yourself and your team on the types of waste and develop a plan for identifying and eliminating it
Ensure team members are utilizing the proper technical guidance, tools, and understand the tasking at hand.
Facilitate communication, feedback, and monitor process results
Escape from your paradigms and determine it the "This Is The Way We've Always Done It" mentality within process steps ensures waste is reduced, eliminated, or prevented at its source
Look for congestion, duplicated efforts, rework, and people, parts, machinery not being effectively utilized
Develop and implement a method to identify and measure waste (i.e., some type of metric/measurement)
Once you identify waste, act swiftly (and smartly) to reduce or eliminate it. Be alert for waste being created in other areas as a result of your improvement efforts.