Productivity Tip #4: Take Stock: Checking Your Inventory

When it comes to cutting down on waste, business leaders may find it’s time to take stock — literally.

Take some time to examine all your inventories, regardless of whether your company manufactures a product, widget or offers a service. As lean managers are aware, one of the seven deadly sins of waste is an excess of inventory.

While this is one of the original principles defined by Taiichi Ohno of Toyota used to streamline their production system, this concept is applicable across almost any company in any industry.

According to this idea, any raw materials, supplies, or even finished products just sitting and collecting dust are all signs of waste. Although some inventory is necessary, unless a customer has paid for these resources, then they shouldn’t be sitting idle.

And the longer this inventory sits unused, the more likely it is to create other kinds of waste. Eventually these resources could be damaged or go out-of-date — and that’s money down the drain and lost productivity.

Following that logic, it makes sense to attempt to reduce your inventory in order to cut back on production waste. Do some spring cleaning and clear out that clutter.