Are your business practices in need of improvement? You’re not alone either in your need or in seeking out resources and means to streamlining everything from sales models and production to something as easy to overlook as waste management. Six Sigma is a group of tools and techniques designed to optimize your business processes and therefore your products themselves. Often combined with the methodology of lean manufacturing to produce the system known as Lean Six Sigma, this is great knowledge to consider implementing in your venture to tighten up your business model. Lean Six Sigma addresses problems in processes and waste as well as variation and design to form a comprehensive plan for streamlining your business as a whole.
What is Lean Six Sigma?
Lean manufacturing addresses business processes and their waste production of all forms through inefficiencies. The goal is to improve overall value, which is measured through the eyes of the customer. Any action or service that a customer would be willing to pay for is considered valuable. Six Sigma is based on a concept in statistical quality control which evaluates process capability. In manufacturing the Six Sigma methodology uses data to determine an appropriate and achievable sigma level for each process, which, when achieved in the short-term production line will decrease defects and therefore waste over time. Lean Six Sigma then utilizes data analytics to reduce waste and variation and therefore increase corporate value.
Why Is Reducing Landfill Waste Important?
Landfill waste is not typically included in the official seven wastes described in the lean manufacturing methodology, but it is not difficult to see how it would interact with them. Oftentimes excess landfill waste is the result of, or results in, other forms of waste such as excess downtime as well as movement. Without a streamlined landfill waste management plan variations in these practices can lead to a high cost of waste removal, and even affect the manufacturing process as employees are inconvenienced by things like waste can placement or problems with them overflowing.
Applying Lean Six Sigma to Waste Management
To start you will need data which means auditing your current waste production to get an idea of how much of what kinds of waste you are sending to the landfill. If you haven’t already designated people to devote themselves to waste management, find employees that are excited about the challenge. Begin finding ways that you can reduce waste streams throughout your operations by implementing recycling and reuse strategies. Investing in a trash compactor will further reduce the size of your waste by a ratio of six to one, which will help to reduce the cost you spend on waste removal. Also, consider your purchasing practices and how you can reduce the packaging on things you are both buying as well as the products you are sending out.
Lean Six Sigma is a great philosophy for improving the value of your company and its products. Waste management always adds value to your company not only through saving you money on logistics and removal costs but also because customers are interested in the corporate responsibility of your business. Being involved in the zero landfill initiative is a great way to devote yourself to improving the way business is done, and Lean Six Sigma is a means to cause that change from within.
For more information about how to improve your waste management practices, call KenBay today!
There are many forms of waste that arise in complex processes of production. Not only will you send waste to the landfill, but you’ll also find waste in your water and electricity resources, as well as in every phase of the production line and in defective products. These are just a few of the wastes that necessitate the lean manufacturing philosophy that has become the norm throughout the industrial world, in which leaders aim to reduce all streams of waste throughout production.
When we think of waste, we typically think of garbage and yet in lean manufacturing models, actual landfill-bound waste isn’t part of the consideration. Should it be central to the lean manufacturing model? Reducing landfill waste does indeed save a company money in logistics and possibly purchasing, as well as other valuable resources that are being wasted.
What is Lean Manufacturing?
The concept of lean manufacturing is derived from the renowned Toyota Production System which was developed and widely adopted in the 1990s. The Toyota Production System focuses on seven wastes that, when reduced, will improve overall customer value. Since value is measured through the eyes of the customer, any action or service that a customer would be willing to pay for is considered valuable. This lean manufacturing model is what made a small Japanese car company into the world’s largest vehicle manufacturer, and all by focusing on the reduction of waste. In their seven waste streams, however, landfill waste is never mentioned, though in today’s market it is absolutely of value to a customer who wants to buy products from responsible companies.
Why Should Landfill Waste Be Included in Lean Manufacturing?
Landfill waste is an aspect of production where the lean manufacturing mentality can be applied to save money and improve productivity and therefore value. Not only do your customers desire products from companies who care about their impact on the environment, but the amount of landfill waste you produce directly correlates to other forms of waste that you are probably overlooking. When you have excess landfill waste, you will find waste in aspects of production like logistics, space usage, and downtime.
How Waste Can Lead to More Waste
When your landfill waste is piling up at unreasonable levels, it is often a symptom or cause of other forms of waste throughout your production where the principles of lean manufacturing are transformative. Motion is one of the seven wastes that is often associated with the movement of landfill waste throughout a manufacturing facility as waste cans need to be frequently emptied, or are in inconvenient places for certain employees. This movement can then lead to more waiting, which is another of the seven wastes, as employees might get lackadaisical in their movement throughout the facility resulting in lower production times.
Trash compactors are a great tool to help in reducing landfill waste and the other wastes associated with it throughout your facility. Not only do they reduce the size and therefore the frequency of waste removal trips, but they also reduce the movement associated with landfill waste. If you are considering waste management practices and how they coincide with your lean manufacturing model, call KenBay to find out how we can be of service.
If you are producing multiple tons of waste a week, logistics costs can start to pile up quickly. Landfills are filling up and many of them are even closing, leading to even higher logistics costs associated with waste because companies are left to ship it farther distances. When you are already paying for other streams of shipping throughout your business processes, it makes sense to spend less on your waste than you do, say, on shipping products to your customers. If you have yet to consider how much you are actually paying in logistics costs when it comes to waste management, it’s time to crunch some numbers and get those costs down.
When it comes to lowering company-wide logistics costs, waste management is a great place to start. Many new business owners don’t consider that waste management is a thing to take seriously until they get that first waste removal bill. There are various streams of waste to consider when doing a waste management audit, and not just those associated with trash. You can also consider other areas of sustainability like energy and water use. Are there other valuable resources that are not being monitored and therefore producing waste besides the actual materials you are sending to the landfill?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Corporate responsibility necessitates that you manage your waste wisely by recycling and disposing of things like hazardous waste properly. There are many ways to reduce waste coming from your facility, and they all start with a proper audit of all your processes and the waste they produce. By auditing your waste consistently for a designated period you will discover where there are unnecessary or avoidable waste streams and can figure out where to move from there to reduce them. One waste stream you can almost always reduce is packaging. Consider your purchasing practices and how you might order things in a way that cuts down on packaging waste. Packaging can come in many forms from cardboard to shrink wrap and ends up as both trash and recycling.
Furthermore, there are many things that are determined waste that can be useful as opposed to discarded. Things like manilla envelopes and plastic containers can be easily stored for second use. There are also many options to sell used goods to other companies who can use or recycle them, creating a passive income stream where you would have been dishing out in logistics costs.
Invest in a Commercial Trash Compactor
Are you looking to improve the sustainability of your business, as well as the safety of your workplace? Commercial trash compactors are the absolute best bet for achieving both of these goals. With many different sizes and specialities, there are commercial trash compactors for every purpose waiting to prove their return on investment. Not only can you improve the sustainability of your own company, but a commercial trash compactor will help you reduce the volume of waste that you are sending to your local landfill.
For more information about how the manage your waste in such a way that you will reduce logistics costs throughout your company, call KenBay.
If you are trying to reduce your waste, one of the easiest things you can do is find things that are easy to reuse. With a little bit of effort, you can significantly reduce many of your waste streams with simple reuse protocols based around sorting, cleaning and storing. There are many things, like manila envelopes and plastic containers, that are determined waste that can be useful instead of thrown out. By taking the effort to save and reuse whatever you can, you will save the company from having to purchase as many as it would otherwise. There are also many opportunities to sell used goods to other companies who can use or recycle them, creating a passive income for your company.
4 Benefits of a Habit of Reuse
- Save Money
When you reuse things throughout your business operations you will undoubtedly save money in many ways. Not only will you spend less on purchasing what you have decided to reuse, but you will also save money on waste removal as you significantly diminish a waste stream. When you open your mind to the idea of reusing things you will undoubtedly begin to think more creatively about the waste you’re creating. If you want to further reduce your waste removal costs, consider purchasing a commercial trash compactor.
- Build Partnerships
Another common oversight is the opportunity to find a partner in your community who would consider something that is your waste to be a valuable resource for them. Turn to your community to find partnerships like this and you just may save money in buying things you could get at discounted prices, on trade, or completely free. Not only will the habit of reuse challenge you to think more creatively about your own waste, but also about that of your partners throughout the community.
- Zero Landfill Initiative
The zero landfill initiative is an ideal that many organizations and governments strive for, and the practice of reuse is central to achieving it. If you haven’t yet considered how you can contribute to this admirable common goal, a waste audit and habit of reuse are great places to start.
- Encourage a Charitable Community
Many things go in the trash that could be incredibly useful to other organizations in your community. Teachers, for instance, are constantly short on supplies they need for the classroom, and some of your garbage could serve as great craft supplies or even paper products they might need for schoolwork. Don’t give in and let things get dumped at the landfill when you could be directly helping your community with what you might now be deeming trash. If you can’t reuse it yourself, chances are someone else can. Furthermore, this kind of outward-facing thoughtfulness is a great way to get your employees more engaged in their work as they aim to make it part of something bigger than themselves or even the organization, but about being a service provided to their local community.
If you haven’t yet made the habit of reuse a norm in your organization, it’s time to start working towards this goal. Begin by educating your employees on some simple changes they can make, then give them the freedom to find their own solutions to reuse in order to reduce waste streams. If you are looking for further waste management help, give KenBay a call to see how we can help you.
The waste to energy debate in the United States has been a tense one as environmentalists and politicians weigh many aspects of a solution that hasn’t yet caught on. With municipal landfills getting zoned off in most major cities nationwide, there is certainly a need for new waste management streams, and we have a moral obligation to stop sending it to third world countries whose infrastructures can’t handle it. Though a zero landfill initiative would be a dream come true for the government and environmentalists alike, there isn’t hope of this becoming a reality anytime soon, necessitating accessible alternatives like an investment in more waste to energy plants.
What is the Waste to Energy Debate?
Waste to Energy, or WtE, is a means of disposing of waste, usually by incineration, to produce electricity and heat, and even biofuels. There are less than 100 WtE plants in the United States, while in Europe it has become much more popular and is accepted there as a form of renewable energy. American environmentalists would argue that it can’t be renewable if it depends on human waste. Many WtE plants can sell energy or heat directly to the grid, while the combustible fuel producers create methane, methanol, ethanol or synthetic fuels that can be used for transportation as well as in industry. Aside from the debate as to whether waste to energy is actually a renewable energy stream, many people use the Not-in-my-Backyard (NIMBY) argument against building more WtE plants because they are worried about smells, smoke, and other pollutants. These concerns have been largely disproven through research, however.
The Cost of Transportation
There is the question of the cost associated with shipping waste to WtE plants and whether it’s worth the transportation costs. The fact is that many municipalities are already increasing their waste transportation costs because of full landfills, and are sending their garbage not only to other states but to other countries. The rising costs of shipping waste are significant and becoming the norm in more densely population centers around the country.
Is it Worth Shipping to a Waste to Energy Plant?
It may seem an unnecessary cost to ship to a WtE plant right now, but the more mainstream this solution becomes, the more plants will be built. By fronting the cost now, you are investing in the future of waste management in this country. The hope is that someday you will have a municipal waste to energy plant that won’t require excessive shipping costs. There are numerous ways to reduce the amount of waste you are producing, as well as the option of investing in a commercial trash compactor. Both scenarios will help offset some of the costs of shipping your waste to a WtE.
If you are considering whether to do more with your waste then send it to your local landfill, the waste to energy solution is a great opportunity for you. If you want to speak with waste management experts to discuss your options, give KenBay a call!