ISC and the 8 wastes of lean

Running an efficient large-scale production business involves lean manufacturing and a method to identify, reduce and eliminate the 8 wastes of lean that affects manufacturing, production and customer relations. 

This is where TIMWOODS, or DOWNTIME, takes place in lean. 

Both are acronyms of the eight wastes to reduce and eliminate in lean manufacturing. They are nearly identical, differing only in some of the names used for the type of waste and the order of the types of waste.

But, before diving into the eight wastes, it is important to define what is waste. 

According to lean six sigma, waste is anything in a process that is not adding value to the customer. 

So, TIMWOODS can help in several manners. It can reduce costs, increase productivity and enhance the customer satisfaction

Thus, the next time you need to remember the 8 wastes of lean management, just ask yourself “Who is TIM WOODS?”. 

However, it is important to note that focusing solely on eliminating the 8 wastes of lean is not the best idea. If you implement the lean principles combined with the ISC Software, waste will inevitably be reduced or eliminated. 

Now, let’s talk about the different types of waste in lean, also known as TIMWOODS, with several examples. 

The 8 wastes of lean

The different lean manufacturing wastes are broken down in 8 different forms, which are described below: 

TIMWOODS stands for: 

  • Transportation. 
  • Inventory. 
  • Motion. 
  • Waiting.  
  • Overproduction. 
  • Over-processing. 
  • Defects. 
  • Skills 


The first one of lean waste is transportation.

Transportation waste refers to products, workers or information moving further than they need to. Time spent in transporting a product is not improving the value, it takes time and that is a delay for the customer. 

Factories are normally divided in areas where related processes are running. For instance, all the machining is done in the same area, and the molding is done in another. This creates the need to transport a product over long and unnecessary distances. 

Thus, moving a product means that no added value activities can be performed. Furthermore, damages may occur when they travel unnecessary distances. 

On the other hand, transporting a product usually requires packaging to protect it from possible bumps. 

Tips to reduce or eliminate transportation waste: 

  • Place processes as close as possible. 
  • The material should be moving automatically from process to process without significant delay. 
  • Redefine the production pathway with ISC. Our DGL application provides a graphical way to represent your actual line layout. And that’s not all, you can also modify your layout and test its performance in real time with the powerful Simulations module
transportation lean waste timwoods downtime


Inventory is any material and completed stock that needs to be turned into something more valuable or sold to customers. 

One of the principles of lean manufacturing is Just-in-time or JIT. It involves creating what customers want only when they need it. Not following this principle ends in overproduction waste, which is the first O of TIMWOODS.  

In fact, inventory waste is probably the deadliest of all wastes. Excess inventory leads to wasting money, defects, damages, overproduction and a big probability that the completed stock becomes obsolete

Tips to reduce or eliminate inventory waste: 

  • Create a smooth flow of work. 
  • Reduce the batch sizes. 
  • Reduce the changeover time. 
  • Ensure workers follow the method. 
  • Analyze your process deeply with DGL, the line balancing software. It allows you to find out a complete set of statistics about inventory from the simulation of your actual line. 
inventory lean waste isc six sigma


The next of the eight wastes of TIMWOODS, applied to lean manufacturing, is motion.  

This waste takes place every time a machine or people move more than they really need to. 

The movement can be anything that is not adding any value like walking, moving, bending, etc. 

Of course, it also applies to machines when they have to travel for several seconds to reach a product or to perform its task. 

The main difference between motion waste and transportation waste is that motion happens within a process, but transportation waste refers to the movement of materials between processes.  

Quick & Outstanding Results
DGM has an average of 30% increased performance.

Tips to reduce or eliminate motion waste: 

  • Redefine MTM-2 methods with ISC. Our DGI application provides an advanced MTM-2 tool, along with a complete ergonomics manager to easily find out motion waste. 
  • Reduce batch sizes. 
  • Improve workstations to prevent excessive movements. 
  • Use DGM, our time and motion software applied to machines, to easily detect motion waste on machines. 
downtime hospital lean black belt


A process is not completely synchronized when there is idle time. Waiting means that added value activities can’t be performed.  

Thus, the waiting waste is caused by people, products and machines that forces operators to wait or work inefficiently.

In fact, nothing can be done until the work load is received, increasing costs. 

Tips to reduce or eliminate waiting waste: 

  • In the first place, ensure that there are not bottlenecks in previous operations. 
  • Poor man/machine coordination. 
  • People and machine not reliable. 
  • Well-define processes. 
  • Use DGI, the time and motion software applied to people. It allows you to easily detect waiting waste on operators. Also benefit from the advanced MTM-2 tool.
  • Use DGM, the time and motion software applied to machines. It allows you to automatically detect waiting waste, saving tons of time in your analysis. 
waiting timwood lean waste


The next one of the 8 wastes of lean is overproduction. 

It is a reality, but Overproduction can negatively impact the success of a large-scale production business. Thus, this waste happens when more products have been produced than customers are willing to buy. 

In fact, Overproduction leads to other wastes. The extra inventory needs to be stored and transported, which affect the inventory, transportation, motion and waiting wastes as well. 

Tips to reduce or eliminate overproduction waste: 

  • Adjust your resources with ISC to match the actual customer demand (takt time). Our DGL software provides a decision filter that facilitates your decision making-process based on your actual customer demand. So, simply introduce your takt needs in the Calculations module and DGL will highlight the best production rate automatically! 
  • Follow the lean principle Just-in-time
  • Work with smaller batch sizes. 
  • Balance work processes. DGL provides a powerful Calculations module that allows you to run efficient line balancing operations automatically. There are two different strategies depending on your needs:
    • Speed over cost. In the first place, this strategy prioritizes the reduction of the whole process time over the cost of the whole process.
    • Cost over speed. The aim of this strategy is the opposite as the mentioned above. It prioritizes the reduction of the cost of the whole process against the process time 
  • Use the outstanding Simulations module from our DGL application. As a result, you will check the production health, bottlenecks and WIPs state in real time.
overproduction timwoods lean kaizen


Adding more steps, components or work than required into the production of a product leads to over-processing waste.  

This waste is hard to identify and can be hidden and subjective. However, if you can be doing things better or doing better things then there is over-processing waste. 

A manufacturing process should be adapted to what a customer requests.

Putting more functionalities than needed into a product is over-processing. 

Quick & Outstanding Results
DGI has an average of 20% increased performance.

Tips to reduce or eliminate over-processing waste: 

  • Develop standardized work operations. 
  • Establish clear quality standards. 
  • Use DGI, the time and motion software applied to people, to find out over-processing wastes from your work operations. 
  •  Use DGM, the time and motion software applied to machines, to find out over-processing wastes from your machine operations. 
operational excellence lean eight wastes


This waste is self-explanatory. The cost of defects in products or services is much higher than expected.

Apart from leading to the full rework of the product or service, reports and meetings are needed in order to solve the problems. 

So, you lose not only the time and effort spent in the product manufacturing, you also have to invest more time and effort to create replacements

In fact, this waste is one of the most important since it also leads to other wastes such as transportation, overproduction and over-processing

Tips to reduce or eliminate defects waste: 

  • Reduce worker error with our DGI application:
    • First, it provides an advanced MTM-2 tool to improve current work operations in an easy way, reducing defects. 
    • Improve ergonomics. It is a reality, but one third of all injuries and illnesses are caused by ergonomic failure of an operating process. DGI provides a complete ergonomics manager to easily find out bad ergonomics. Good ergonomics provide an improved quality, a better efficiency, a higher worker morale, cost savings, etc. 
  • Improve processes with ISC. Our DGL app provides a powerful Calculations module. As a result, it allows you to run efficient line balancing operations automatically. Work with different strategies: 
    • Speed over cost. In the first place, this strategy prioritizes the reduction of the whole process time over the cost of the whole process.  
    • Cost over speed. The aim of this strategy is the opposite as the mentioned above. It prioritizes the reduction of the cost of the whole process against the process time.
  • Lower the excessive stock producing at your customer demand, or takt time, with DGL. Our application provides a decision filter that eases your decision making-process based on your actual customer demand.
  • Train workers to improve their skills.
defects timwoods wastes downtime lean


Originally, the acronym was TIMWOOD, and there were 7 wastes. Skills is a more recent addition and is also known as Non-Utilized Talent

Non utilizing the knowledge and ideas of the workers leads to the last of the 8 wastes of lean.  The experienced workers know their processes inside and out perfectly. So, it is important to allow them to voice their input when it comes to improve their processes. When building trust in this way, the opportunities are endless. 

Tips to reduce or eliminate Skills waste: 

  • In the first place, build trust and honest relationships with operators. 
  • Engage workers and make them feel empowered. 
skills non utilized talent downtime timwoods lean wastes
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