Why is TIMWOODS effective in Waste Management?

Managing any manufacturing facility comes with its own set of responsibilities and challenges that must be met daily. Often, industries generate a large amount of industrial waste of varied forms as part of their routine operations. Managing all forms of manufacturing waste needs full-fledged waste management analysis and solutions. 

Lean manufacturing is a core principle of operations waste management. Anything that is expended but doesn’t result in a raw material being turned into something the consumer is willing to pay for is considered lean waste. This can include poor planning, poor resource utilization, skill set, time, and materials.

The primary focus of lean manufacturing is to;

  • Define value from the viewpoint of the end customer, 
  • Eliminate all waste in the business processes, and
  • Consistently improve all work processes, purposes, and people

Developed by Taiichi Ohno at Toyota, the Lean Manufacturing mode today identifies 8 types of waste within an operation – ‘TIMWOODS’. It is a framework for recognising wastes found in manufacturing that can be applied to any organization or industry. 

TIMWOODS is an acronym for the eight wastes found namely: Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Overprocessing, Defects, and Skills in the manufacturing process to help determine them and eliminate anything that adds cost or delays production without adding value.

Here are the 8 operations and manufacturing waste, what causes them, and what measures should be taken to eliminate them;



Transportation waste is caused by factors like the movement of people, tools, inventory, equipment, poor plant design, poorly designed or outdated processes, long material handling systems, etc. This unnecessary & excessive movement of materials can lead to product damage and defects.


  • Implementation of Value stream mapping to visualize, study and enhance all the steps in a delivery process
  • Avoiding double or triple handling of materials
  • Not to overproduce work in process.



Having more inventory than necessary leads to problems like more lead time in the production process, over-purchasing the raw material, Overproduction, Inventory defects, and much more.


  • Purchase raw materials when needed
  • Reduce buffers between production steps
  • Scheduling and forecasting 



Motion includes the unnecessary movement of people, equipment, or machinery caused by factors like Poor workstation layout, poor production planning, lack of production standards, etc. 


  • Proper utilization of the space
  • Well-organized workspace
  • Placing materials in an ergonomic position


Delays in the production process can be caused by things like waiting for materials or approvals, poor communication, and idle equipment. This can lead to decreased productivity.


  • Developing flexible multi-skilled workers
  • Measuring the Tatk time
  • Creating a standard workflow



Producing more than what is needed results in the creation of excess work in progress(WIP) and excess inventory caused by Unreliable processes, incorrect forecasts and demand information, poor automation, etc. 


  • Using ‘Takt Time’
  • Implementing ‘Kanban’ system
  • Reducing setup times



Excess processing is a sign of a poorly designed process caused by using higher precision equipment than necessary, running unwanted analysis, inadequate job station tooling, or simply a human error.


  • Understanding work equipment from the consumer’s point of view
  • Production should match the level of quality and expectation the customer desires.
  • Producing only in quantities needed



Defects in manufacturing and operations include large variances in inventory, poor designs, and poor quality control at the production level which translates into an overall lack of quality control in production.


  • Detect the most frequently occurring errors
  • Redesigning the process of production accordingly
  • Standardize the production process


Skills or unutilized talent is the lean manufacturing waste that is not manufacturing-process specific. This occurs when management in manufacturing fails to ensure their employee’s full potential & talent are utilized. Lack of team training, Lack of or inappropriate policies, and poor communication are some of the influential factors.


  • Providing training and growth opportunities
  • Engaging employees and incorporating their ideas
  • Involving them in the creative processes

Identifying and Eradicating TIMWOODS

Operations management is one of the essential functions of any organization. Hence, the first step towards eliminating the 8 wastes is to recognize their existence by having an effective process to identify them.

Becoming lean requires time and is the result of continuous monitoring and refining of the processes.  Understanding the concept of lean manufacturing and incorporating it effectively to improve efficiency and productivity is crucial. 

To become a proficient and highly skilled operations manager, MIT School of Distance Education offers PG Diploma in Operations Management that will prepare you to confront the challenges put forth by the field, head-on. PGDM Operations Management covers subjects such as Lean Management Systems, Production, Planning and Control, Operations Research, etc.

The program aims at training you to deliver excellent services at low cost and minimum time, and to develop change agents having the adequate competencies and mindset for creating a rich culture of operational dexterity at the workplace.