Waste is anything that does not contribute to meeting the customer’s needs. Waste only adds cost and time. For example, if a quick response for your customer is what he expects, everything that happens in the service process that does not directly contribute to the production of the product or service, but increases the time the customer waits, must be seen as waste.
If, for your customer, low cost is important, everything that adds cost and does not directly contribute to the production of the product or service should be seen as waste.
You might be wondering if there is a way to measure the amount of waste in a process. And there is. You can measure the percentage of waste in a process by comparing the sum of the time of activities that add value to the product or service, with the time elapsed between the request and customer service, which we call lead-time. The smaller this percentage, the greater the opportunity for improvement.
In order to be able to do this measurement, it is important that you go through the service process, from beginning to end, observing what is done in each activity and taking your time.
Going through the process, understanding the activities in detail, allows you to clearly see which activities add real value and which activities, although necessary, do not add and are therefore called waste.
Eliminating waste reduces costs and time for customer service. The time your company spends on non-value-added activities should be spent on what the customer perceives as value.
Remember that the Lean company has a management system that puts total focus on the customer and, based on this, it continually seeks the perfection of its processes, without waste of any kind.