Overprocessing Waste, an example
Of Taiichi Ohno’s now-famous 7 Wastes, the one I’ve always had the hardest time explaining is “Overprocessing,” sometimes called “inappropriate processing.” It always seems to glass people over. While it is easier to understand why excess motion or transportation is a waste, this overprocessing waste seems to many to simply be giving the customer a little extra.
So, I give you an example.
It’s getting cold here in Indiana and, reluctantly, I’m needing to add some insulation to my legs for my early morning run each day. Last weekend, I ordered a new pair of sweat pants and they arrived today.
Here’s exactly how I opened the package this evening. The box was fine, the sweatpants were fine but Styrofoam peanuts??? In a shipping container that only had a pair of very unbreakable sweatpants??
This is classic overprocessing. An extra step that adds cost but no value. Note that this example not only adds cost to the vendor but cost and hassle to me, the consumer. I have to get rid of the silly things. They cling to everything. And are notorious for being environmentally unfriendly.
Perhaps their shipping department thinks they added value. Perhaps they did this mindlessly. Probably they were sincere. But, clearly, no one there is thinking about waste.
Go find some overprocessing to stomp out. It’ll feel good.