Lean Waste #1: Defects

Any time we make a mistake—whether in crafting a product, updating the GL, filling an order, etc.—we either have to do it over or deliver to our customer something that isn’t right. The matrix of possible defects is huge. Wrong number. Wrong thing. Wrong data. Wrong food. Wrong answer. Wrong price. Wrong solution. Wrong fit. It goes on and on.

Some people choose to let it go and pass the defect to the customer (external or internal). The outcome may go unnoticed but is more likely to be noticed and leave your customer dissatisfied, or worse, angry and looking for alternatives.

Inspection is only one way to stop mistakes but it’s a very costly and inefficient solution. How much better to do it right the first time? Don’t have time, you say; then how will you find time to do it over? What processes can you improve or even mistake proof (pokeyoke) to stop mistakes before they happen?

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