Monday, August 4, 2008

Muda Monday - The seven wastes at my home

Welcome to the "Muda" Monday when I shall discuss one of the 7 wastes that affects our household. Muda is the Japanese word used to describe waste and I am learning how many valuable resources I don't use effectively. Taiichi Ohno, a pioneer of lean methods in Japan, had published a book called “Toyota Production System” in it he explained the main foundations of “lean” manufacturing. Mr. Ohno devised 7 categories which cover virtually all of the means by which manufacturing organisations waste or lose money; these have become known as “The 7 wastes”. I have adapted these to what happens at my house.

The Seven Wastes at my home are:

Unnecessary Transport of household occupants and materials

o Too many unecessary trips outside the home, trips not optimized for efficiency, one person commuting in a multi-passenger vehicle, trips up and down stairs to transport items within the home.

• Inventories beyond the absolute minimum

o Garages full of excess junk, too many clothes resulting in time consuming garage sales, multiple items of the same type, no available closet space, too much food resulting in leftovers that aren’t eaten and spoil, too much waste generated due to high inventory of stuff.

• Motions of household members

o Looking for needed things, bending over, reaching for materials, searching for tools due to lack of organization of household items, etc.

• Waiting for the next process step.

o Waiting for shared resources to become available such as the phone, bathroom, kitchen sink, washer, dryer, car, etc.

• Overproduction ahead of demand.

o Preparing too much food resulting in uneaten leftovers, gifts that won’t be used and requires return trip to store, too many refrigerators with empty space.

• Overprocessing

o Keeping the home at the same temperature all the time, cooking food with too much energy, using too much water, gasoline, soap, coffee, detergent, etc.

• Defective processes and products

o Cooking food that will not eaten due to not following recipe, hurrying through homework that is not checked, paying bills too late resulting in late fees, overdue library book fines, bank overdrafts, video late fees, taking shortcuts that result in problems later instead of making proper home repairs.

Obviously, we can't run our home like a factory but it does open ones eyes to the squandering of precious commodities and resources. As I mentioned in a previous post, our great household purge is showing our family how much we have and in turn how much we waste. Lord willing, we will reduce our uneeded consumption, save valuable time, recover and save money, and do the things we really want to do.

Mind your muda! Don't let this happen to you...

Dan Lafever

No comments: