Manage Waste Through Velocity and Give Yourself the Time and Profit You Want

Managing Waste is done through a process called Velocity.  Most often this involves Materials you use and keep in your inventory.  However, you can also experience waste in Machines or Equipment, Manpower, or your actual workplace design.

Materials and Inventory that are not at the right place at the right time in the right amounts affect Velocity.  When Inventory must travel long distances to get to the point of use or the user must wait for additional materials to round out the needs of the job, this delay and wait time is wasteful.

This could be as simple as an ink cartridge for a copier. What is the actual cost per Man Minute for a person to fetch a $20.00 ink cartridge that is in a cabinet 1,200 feet away round trip?  If an average adult  walks 400 feet per minute and every minute costs $1.80, you may add another $5.40 to the cartridge.

 Now the cartridge becomes a $25.00 item. If you multiply every little task in a day by the non-value added space and time it takes to accomplish and you have a pretty nice little amount of money being thrown out the window. Now, some new jobs comes in and rather than looking at where you can be more efficient with the same people, you keep the waste in place, and hire another person which loses even more money.

 When dealing with Materials we look at many aspects of waste. Location of the stored inventory to the point of use, correct amounts of inventory needed, correct types of inventory, and so on.  If a Customer is not getting what they expect, when they expect it, because you are backed up, you have a problem called Load Leveling.  Whenever a deadline is not met, your production is not synchronizing with your processes.  This is usually the result of working on two or more unlike jobs or unique projects with different specifications or Customer expectations at one time.

Load Leveling is a function of Scheduling so that there is little or no waste of time and space in your production process. Cost-added methods that can be combined, eliminated, reduced, increased, avoided, simplified, replaced by redesigning, or done somewhere else increases Velocity.

 Machine Management Affects Velocity.

Machines aren’t just things that stamp out widget. They are Laser photo machines in Printing Companies, Copy machines in offices, Cell phones, or In-Truck equipment. Wherever there is a reliance on a technical system or piece of equipment to do work, that is the machine we are referring to here.

We break machine management down into 4 areas Maintenance that require waste elimination:

There is Breakdown Maintenance, needed when a piece of equipment fails.

There is Preventative Maintenance in order to avoid failure of a piece of equipment

There is Corrective Maintenance which modifies a piece of equipment to make maintenance easier, and faster.

There is Team Maintenance, where several different people are each responsible for one aspect of maintenance.

 Each of these maintenance approaches offers ways to increase Velocity

 Manpower affects Velocity.

A minimum of 70% of all work time spent by employees should be chargeable.  In other words, 70% or 45 minutes of every hour for every employee should be adding value to the products you produce.  Less than this outcome is due to some waste.  Leadership must remove the waste.  Who ever is responsible for Velocity Management in your business must identify, locate, validate, monitor and report the waste to Leadership. 

 The way things are Measured affect Velocity.  Do this improperly and the measurements can become incomplete, illegible, untimely, irrelevant, redundant, etc.  This is waste.  Measurements can severely affect the Production and the ability to meet and satisfy Customer expectations.

 Milieu is the French word for environment.

Milieu is the layout of your production or service process. It’s one thing to have too much space, and another to have too many things in a small space. Waste of time and space can be measured by the length of the string when you when you walk the order.

Try this exercise:

Have someone hold the end of a ball of string at your front door.

Pick any job. Now walk from the front door to every action point for every task in that order, through your entire company.

Then let out the string and measure the total feet.

Now, divide the total feet of string for this product by the 400 Ft an average person to walks in one minute. These are called “Clock Feet”

Next, multiply the number of clock feet by the cost per Man minute – let’s say $1.50 per Man Minute for every person in your company.

Now, what if you had to write a check for the money that you just spent to produce this product… minus any money that you can save by shortening the string.  This is the amount of money that you lose every day for each string … each product.  I guarantee that you will pay much closer attention to the length of string for each product that you sell. 

Controlling these wastes adds value to your company.  Controlling these wastes gives you more time to enjoy life.