Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hidden Factory

Hidden factory are non value added activities hided or embedded in any process operation. Because it is invisible to us, therefore we are not aware of it most of the time.

Toyota production system ( Lean ) classify the non value added processes as waste in the production system. Waste in the production system affecting process efficiency, resulting of higher operation cost.

Founder of Toyota production system Taiichi Ohno & Shigeo Shingo identified 7 critical wastes that need to remove from the main stream process flow. There are;

  1. Overproduction
  2. Waiting
  3. Transportation
  4. Inappropriate processing
  5. Excess inventory
  6. Unnecessary motion
  7. Defect

Out of the 7, I would like to add one more: Inspection

Wastes listed above is not unique to Toyota, it exist in our work place as well. We did not aware the existence most of the time, because it is invisible or it is being accepted as part of the main stream process operation.

When a company accepts hidden factory build up in their main stream process operation, a portion of the company resource will be take up to support the invisible operation that do not generate income for the company.
Hidden factory will growth over time. The cost to maintain the hidden factory will roll like a snow ball if management did not clean up their main stream process regularly. The bigger the size of the invisible factory, the more money will be taken up by the invisible monster.

Last update : 31/05/07

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