One area that we don’t spend much time worrying about at the moment is wastage. We don’t need to as there is always more out there and all it costs is money. After an event though that will all change as we will want to reduce our waste to zero. Everything we produce will have to be used, every minute we spend will have to be productive and we won’t want to waste anything at all. Resources, including our time, will be limited and if we waste anything then that is time and resources we will lose and if it is bad enough it could be the difference between living or not.
We can look at the output of years of experience that has been gained in our productive part of the economy as they have spent years refining their processes to reduce waste and maximise profit and we should watch and learn from where we can.
Industry has identified 7 areas where waste occurs;
- Idle Time
- Non-Value Added Activity
- Unnecessary Motion
- Inferior Quality
This is where we produce too much too soon. In a business they don’t want to store items as that costs money when they can just have another production run. In an event we are pretty much going to keep our production to a minimum. We don’t want to be doing work we don’t have too as we could be spending time elsewhere to ensure we cover all our requirements not just our requirements for one item.
This is where we do nothing productive with time. Industry doesn’t like workers doing nothing. It pays them to do work and idle time means they get nothing back for that payment. In our case though idle time may be acceptable as long as we have no critical outstanding tasks and we need a break sometime. Bear in mind though that idle time could be used to some good perhaps on less arduous tasks or tasks we enjoy so that we can make productive use of more of our time.
This is where we move things around unnecessarily. In industry it costs money to move things around and this makes their product cost more or if it doesn’t it reduces profits. In our case though this wastes both our resources involved in the move and our time to make the move. So instead of killing the cow in the field and carrying it back to your home in several trips it would be better to walk the cow to slaughter.
This is where we perform work that doesn’t not add to the value of the item. In industry this simply adds costs to the product that may not be recoverable. In business however some people will pay extra for finishing touches. After an event though we won’t want anything with unnecessary engraving or colourings. Just plain old function.
This is holding items in store before they are needed. Industry has changed from storing vast amounts in warehouses to getting Just In Time (JIT) inventory where as it comes into the factory it goes straight to the production line. Saving warehouse space and reducing lost or damaged stock. In our case though we can’t afford a JIT strategy just in case we have issues. This is linked with overproduction and for our requirements as long as it isn’t wasted we would rather store something than not have it when it is needed.
This is where Staff move around because of poor layout on site. In industry you pay people to produce items. They don’t do that while moving around and this simply adds costs. In our case though we may find that we are doing multiple tasks and simply have to move around. Planting in the morning, butchering in the afternoon means that we must move around to perform these tasks.
This is producing goods that are not accepted and thus wasted. In industry this means you have paid someone for nothing. In our case it means that valuable resources have been consumed. Perhaps a blade you have been working on has been ruined by a mistake. This wastes both resources, the metal, and time, our work so far, both of which are critical to us.
After all after an event if you are unproductive the chances are you will go without something to eat or go cold. Imagine you ruin a meal. You have wasted food, fuel, water, time and possibly the cooking utensil. Now you would just get a replacement and redo it. After an event this could be all you managed to catch that day and makes the difference betwen eating or not. This is a lot different than a lot of shareholders losing a few pence on their shares. We cannot afford that so ensure that you make the most of our resources and time. Consider everything you do and while we should not do any more than is necessary we must ensure we do enough to cover our requirements plus a little contingency just in case.