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Identifying wasted resources within business operations

Identifying opportunities to create improvements in operations performance and cost reductions can be achieved by a simple approach of identifying the source of the seven forms of waste in any environment or operation. No matter the nature or environment of the operation there will usually be one or more wasteful use of resources and these could be easily identified or it may be necessary to dig a little deeper into the details of certain processes to find opportunities.

Opportunity areas that may yield potential opportunities if examined up close can include:

- Inventory ordering processes and systems
-Production scrap rates and re work
- Product changeovers
- Production scheduling
-Warehousing and intercompany stock transactions
-Management hierarchy and use of human resources
-Movement of wip and raw materials along the supply chain
-Inventory age and obsolete inventory holdings
-Accounting complexity within the business
- Plant or operation downtime
-Plant and machinery maintenance regimes and resources
-Use of company assets and resources by management
-Reliability of raw material supply
-Cluttered and disorganized work spaces

These are just a few of the initial areas to look at when searching for opportunity areas to look at for potential wasteful use of resources and efficiency improvements that will deliver tangible cost savings. In office or service environments there may be slightly different processes or areas to examine, but the same principles of waste and process optimization do apply. The key is to follow the value adding path from order receipt from the customer to delivery of the service or output of the process

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