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What Are Muda, Muri, and Mura?

Are you seeking to implement lean manufacturing to your organization? A number of manufacturing plants have already implemented lean as it's a great way to eliminate wastes and to provide higher quality products to your customers. When it comes to lean manufacturing you need to be able to consider the steps that are necessary in order to achieve success with it and to understand the tools that you need to use to identify wastes. Muda, Muri, and Mura are part of the 7 wastes that have been identified by lean manufacturing and they need to be eliminated from your company in order to have success. Let's look at each of the various wastes in greater detail.

This is a waste that occurs when you have processes or activities that do not add value to your company. When you waste money on inventory and other things, it is part of muda. You need to be able to identify the various wastes that are part of Muda so you can eliminate them and will be able to save your company money:
1. Transport - how much money are you wasting to pay for shipping costs? Do you have warehousing costs and how much are you paying to use trucks to get your products in and out of the warehouse?
2. Inventory - any company that holds a large inventory is losing money. The products will sit on the shelves and will wait to be sold in which time they can decrease in value or your customers need and demand may decrease, tying up your cash reserves.
3. Motion - this occurs when you have employees moving around a lot just to do their jobs and to find the tools and things that they need to do their jobs.
4. Waiting - with this step you will end up wasting time as you wait on machines to complete production or you have to wait on other employees. Basically you waste money because you are standing around and not adding value to the company but taking money instead.
5. Overproduction - this is when you produce too many products, leaving you with excessive inventory.
6. Overprocessing - this is when you end up trying to impress your customers too much and you invest more money into manufacturing and little details than what you need to be doing.
7. Defects - this occurs when you have problems and then end up with recalls and other things. Any time you have to rework a product, it is a waste to the company.

With this waste you will end up looking at overburden. What this means is that you need to consider if you are placing too much work on your employees or you are demanding high expectations from them which can lead to a great deal of stress. You need to be able to have clearly defined programs and tools that will allow your employees to know what to do and to know what is expected of them without being stressed out.

This is another waste to the company that comes in the form of unevenness. What this refers to is creating unfair demands of machinery and people and leading to over-production or under-production. Set realistic goals for the company and employees so you do not have targets that you will never meet. You have to consider the economy and other things that can end up impacting mura and factoring this into the equation in order to be able to set realistic goals.

Once you implement lean manufacturing and you are able to identify all of the various wastes that are part of it, you can remove them from your company. This enables you to boost your bottom line but to also find success with giving customers higher quality products.

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