Complete Courses - Earn Discounts | For a limited time, earn up to 30% OFF!Find out more
Trying to eliminate waste in an organisation without first conducting some form of review is comparable to hacking one’s way through a jungle without a map. For this reason, efficiency experts advocate creating a process map (also known as a process flow chart) to help lay the application foundation.
Almost any production setup or work process in any organisational setting will benefit from being mapped including service businesses, factory assembly lines, farms, offices, schools and food production. Because gathering and mapping an organisation’s production activities requires effort and usually involves more than originally envisioned, obtaining the input of the many different people involved in the activities being examined is crucial.
When done correctly, a process map usually reveals astonishing facts and figures about consumption and waste, including:
• Raw materials - including the amounts of whatever is needed to collect, process, and ship them,
• Manufacturing processes - including manpower needs, material use, energy use, and waste creation,
• Packaging requirements - the amount of paper, plastic, styrofoam and other materials being consumed,
• Transportation needs - the amount of energy used to shift materials from one place to another,
• Maintenance - the chemicals, energy, and water needed to use, maintain, and/or clean whatever is being produced, and,
• Use and Disposal methods - a description of how the product is thrown away as well as the costs involved.
Don’t worry if you or your employees have no experience putting together a process map. Keep it simple - Experienced practitioners suggest using post-it notes to start the process.
Displaying work processes on post-it notes and rearranging them on a big board makes it easy to move and add new information. Again, remember to obtain input from as many people as possible. You are bound to miss something if you go it alone.
After every stage of production has been laid out, the next phase is to break the stages down into subtasks for further analysis. List and describe every activity in the order that it occurs. Examine how these activities impact one another and measure and record the amount and costs of every production unit input and output.
Measuring and recording all inputs and outputs includes weighing or counting (in terms of units or financial amounts) how much is consumed as well as how much is produced and discarded. Use this information to create baseline statistics against which future measurement can be judged. Nothing should be seen as trivial.
A common way to measure (and appreciate) the amount of physical waste a department or business disposes is to ‘dumpster dive’ (i.e. collect and examine what has been thrown away).
For example, the Bentley Prince Street carpet company (a division of Interface) has forced employees to record what they toss in the trash by sifting through company rubbish (different department each month).
Examining the company’s rubbish makes it easy to determine what can be reduced, re-used, re-incorporated back into production, or sold to a recycler. The company now only orders snacks from vending machine suppliers that take back their packaging - a move that has greatly reduced the amount of rubbish in office bins.
Keep the waste-reduction process map simple and clear. Don’t overload the process map with symbols, technical jargon, or other academic markings that render it incomprehensible.
Most business will find it difficult to profit from a map that only a handful of employees understand.
Calculating a ‘carbon footprint’ (i.e.: the amount of carbon dioxide a process creates) is a useful way to measure carbon emissions with the added benefit that, when lowered, the numbers can be used in public relations campaigns or to prove compliance with emissions legislation.
Employees usually enjoy seeing how their efforts help reduce environmental degradation so displaying carbon emission reductions alongside other relevant data can help create motivation and a strong sense of achievement. For more information about carbon footprints and their calculation use the free calculators at these websites:
Introduce tu correo electronico. Te enviaremos un email con las instrucciones para restablecer tu contraseña.