Over-production is a type of waste. It has many different incarnations, but they all end up with a company spending money on something that generates no profit. Oftentimes, there are very small parts of your business flow that generate this waste and they can be tough to identify. In some cases, they may seem so small that their impact on your profitability is disproportionate, at first glance. Objective analysis of a business’s workflow, however, quite often reveals them to have very significant impacts.
As an example of over-production, consider something simple: an employee whose sole task is to tighten a nut on a bolt that holds a desk together. To do the job, the employee needs a 10mm wrench, a workspace and adequate light. One form of over-production would involve the tools. If each employee tasked with this job has a full set of metric and imperial wrenches, the company is paying money for tools that generate no value for the company. If the employee’s workspace is large enough to accommodate a car, but only needs to accommodate a desk, there is another obvious source of waste. Eliminating these small forms of waste can vastly increase profitability.
It also makes life easier for your employees. When employee’s jobs aren’t communicated to them in the most intelligible terms and when their workspaces are disorganized and provided with too many complications, productivity suffers. Employees are most productive when they have all the materials they need to do their job; no more, no less. Eliminating unnecessary transportation and storage of goods can also increase productivity, as can improving workplace cleanliness. In many cases, these problems are best rooted out by a consultant who understands concepts such as Lean Manufacturing, the 5Ss and the Theory of Constraints; the right tools for their jobs!