DOWNTIME – What does it stand for?
Anyone that has been involved in Operational Improvement initiatives will tell you that downtime represents a wasteful activity and is an obstacle to Effective Utilisation and processing of Resources. These Resources can be:
• Capital or Cash
• Time of Humans & Machines
• Throughput / Outputs of Production
• Effective use of Materials & Inputs
• Human Intellect Potential

The questions to be answered are:
• “Are we maximising Cash Flow & Profitability or ROI?”
• “Are we providing maximum value to our customers and stakeholders?”
• “Are we going to survive, grow & prosper in a disruptive, competitive environment?”
• “How do we get our people to become a Winning Team?”

The Lean Philosophy of Japanese Manufacturing (eg The Toyota Production System) describes the “Seven Wastes” as the enemy of Operational Excellence and has coined the word MUDA. It stands for WASTE or non-value add activities in a process or activity. However, the concept of waste has subsequently evolved to include “the Human Intellect / Human Potential” as the 8th Waste. It is often not considered formally in business analytics because it can be difficult to quantify on a Value Stream Map, but is probably the most significant and impactful to ensure sustainable performance of a business. Its effects however can be seen and interpreted through the variations or recurring problems in achieving steady state (or stable) performance.

MUDA has been widely documented in literature and best described as follows:
“One of the most important skills to learn in Lean is being able to identify value from waste. Lean relies on waste reduction as a matter of progression and improvement. No matter what type of business or organization you are, if you can’t tell them apart, your chances of continuous improvement are slim”.
In addition, DOWNTIME is another way of describing waste, but in this case as a mnemonic to remind one of the different types of WASTE that one should look for and eliminate or reduce in the strive for Operational Excellence.

It stands for DOWNTIME
Defects
Over-production
Waiting
Not embracing change (waste of intellect – People Potential)
Transportation
Inventory
Motion
Excess Processing

It is best depicted with the following graphic, which includes the 8th and most important waste:
WASTE No 8: People Potential or Waste of Intellect

Edutouch is in the business of Operational Excellence through Best Practices and Technology. We focus on Best Practices to eliminate wasteful activities, including the Eighth Waste, by developing your “People Potential” through Technological Enablement. We have developed the Methodologies, IT Software and Technological Platforms to enable Supervisors and First Line Managers, to REDUCE WASTE through sustained Best practices and to eliminate and manage Non Conformance at the Workface.

Contact us to discuss the solutions available for your operation.
www.edutouch.co.za or peterv@edutouch.co.za for further professional advice to’ Improve Labour Productivity’ and address the ‘People Potential’ through sustained technology and tools.

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