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Reducing Waste; Increasing Productivity

18 September 2020

The Cornwall Innovation Club wanted to explore ways in which Businesses can increase productivity from a process and efficiency viewpoint. To do this, we took inspiration from within the manufacturing sector. The knowledge sharing session was led by Paul Gibert, Exelin Manufacturing Specialist, who shared his top tips for increasing efficiency in the workplace.

Understanding what adds value and what is waste?

Firstly, Paul highlighted the importance of understanding what adds value within the business and what is waste? Whereby value is any activity that physically changes the product/service or an activity that the customer is willing to pay for; waste is any activity that doesn’t change the product/service and the customer is unwilling to pay for.

Once the true meaning of value was established, he then revealed that typically “95% of what businesses do is waste and only 5% actually adds value”. So how can businesses work smarter to increase productivity?

Rather than looking to increase value added (which would require more effort), Paul says “it’s smarter to start by reducing the waste”. Finding where the waste resides in your business and creating innovative solutions to reduce it, will automatically increase productivity, efficiency and will inevitably shift the overall proportion of value added work in your favour.

To do this, Paul recommends addressing ‘The 7 Wastes’, otherwise known as ‘WORMPIT’:

  • Waiting and delays
  • Overproduction
  • Rework & defects
  • Motion
  • Processes
  • Inventory
  • Transportation



To undertake this activity effectively, no matter if you’re from a services industry or manufacturing, all businesses can identify and map their ‘value streams’ to highlight areas to reduce waste and increase efficiency. So, what WORMPITS do you have in your business? It’s food for thought.

Click here to download a pdf of Paul Gilbert’s top tips and full presentation.

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