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The eighth manufacturing waste
In lean manufacturing we talk about wastes. These wastes are known as the seven manufacturing wastes or at times as eight manufacturing wastes. These wastes are activities and operations which does not add value to the final product. According to the principle of lean manufacturing everything should be analyzed in the bigger picture. Therefore these wastes are interrelated and must be identified carefully.
If you want to read about manufacturing wastes you will find many websites. But I am more interested in the eighth waste. This is the underutilization of the human resources. I don’t know about you, but I believe human is the most valuable resource any organization has. This is the age of creation and innovation. Anything is possible if you have great thoughts. Well good thoughts can not be created from computers or any other technology in the world. It is the human who can give you the thoughts. Only humans can capture emotions of your customers. Like this I can go on and on talking about the specialties human has. But unfortunately, I have to talk about something else which is really surprising to me. This is the underutilization of this precious resource.
Every human in and outside of your organization is a valuable resource to your organization. But this is only if you use them correctly. When I say valuable you might be thinking about a person with great creative ideas or a very flexible person. Yes they are valuable. But for me troublemakers and frustrated people are also important. They can provide me the information any other source can not give me. Frankly most of the frustrated people I have seen in my life are really creative and different to the rest. Since they think differently to the others, they are not popular in the organization. Management wants to get read of them as soon as possible. But in reality this is not because the person is telling you something wrong, but because you do not want to change or be challenged.
God has not created troublemakers. In this world nothing is a waste. It is only the way that we look at them. Remember, waste is something useful in wrong place in wrong form. Humans are not an exception. Fit correct people to the correct place and assign them to the correct job. You will be surprised to see the improvement of your organization.
About the Author: I am a lean manufacturing writer and consultant. I wrote the book “lean manufacturing basics” to give you an idea about basics of lean manufacturing. It is FREE to download from the below URL