So what’s been the point of this series? (In case you’ve missed any of these, here are the first four posts.) Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that the insights behind the famed Toyota Production System are not just for gigantic manufacturers. Anyone who does work (i.e., exerts mental and/or physical energy to make things different from the way they are) can benefit from a study of the muda with an intent to eliminate them. If even a country club — which is in the business of fostering leisure and extravagance — can operate more efficiently without destroying its essence, then so can any service or retail operation.
Now, let’s turn it over to you. What wastes have you discovered and eliminated in your operation? Have you found that you were delivering a service which added no value to the customer’s experience? Or that you were moving physical inventory (or customers) around for no reason? Were you overproducing or overstocking to compensate for insensitivity to your customer’s demand patterns?Were you maintaining or storing something that nobody cares about?
We want to hear about it! Give us a shout in the comments. No matter what your experience, we always have an answer.