Sources of Waste: Overproduction


Lean manufacturing leads to eight types of wastes. All of the categories require a solution, which should add value by reducing everything else. The one offered to deal with these waste problems is promoting the removal of causes of Mura, which stands for the workload, and then tackling Muda (waste) directly. Mazumder (2015) looks at eight wastes resulting from lean production and defines them as something that does not add value. Waste is unnecessary in any industry because it only raises the value of products by increasing manufacturing costs. Eight categories include transportation, underutilized skills, overproduction, more waiting time, excessive inventory, increased processing, too many movements and defects. Recently, my mother quit her job to start the production of yogurt at home with the aim of selling it, and later produced it in large quantities, which severely affected her business and our home environment. The paper will analyze the overproduction problem in this business with the aim to find a solution.

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Description of the Business and the Reason for the Overproduction Waste

My mom is good at cooking, and her skills include making delicious yogurt. She has always received praise from her friends and our neighbors who often visit us to eat her food. Due to the desire to have a small business, she saved some money and started talking about quitting her job to produce yogurt with the aim of selling it to make profit. Her job of a high school teacher did not provide enough money for family needs, and she envisioned her business meeting the latter. She taught my younger brother and me all necessary skills to help her in managing the business. After quitting her job, she showed us all we needed to know regarding the yogurt making process. It requires milk and some yogurt that has live active yogurt cultures. She said that those live cultures are the ones that turn milk into yogurt. Then she taught us how to use the equipment needed, including heavy saucepans with a lid, thermometers, and small measuring cups. To make yogurt, we were to heat milk in a Dutch oven until it reached the boiling point. Then, we had to cool it to about 44 degrees Celsius. Then, it was necessary to thin the bought yogurt with warm milk and pour the thinned yogurt into the warm milk again. After that, the milk would be inoculated into the yogurt culture. Then, we covered the oven with a lid, waited for yogurt to settle for 4 hours, and cooled the yogurt. After this process, our mother completed the final steps of putting it in bottles and branding for sale.

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To her expectations, the number customers increased, and my mother started gathering profits. The demand for her yogurt was high, but production was not enough. Therefore, she advised us to increase production. Unfortunately, we had produced a lot until we could not sell the whole batch of yogurt. We could not refrigerate most of it, and it started expiring in the house. Moreover, the image of mother’s business was tarnished because customers started complaining of the changing taste of yogurt. It eventually led to selling little yogurt, loss of profits, and a lot of expired products in the house. We could not even open our shop that we had planned.

Solution to the Overproduction Waste

Later on, we learned that we had not carried out a proper study on how to start and manage a small business. We only relied on our yogurt making skills, and friends and neighbors as the main customers. However, we realized that we needed to have prepared ourselves for the business and analyzed the market to ensure our success (Fatoki, 2014). Additionally, we should have had a detailed business plan of how to run the business to maximize profits (Titus, 2007). Our failure was from ignorance on how to run a business by overproducing unnecessary yogurt and later discarding it.

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The waste of overproduction involves making more than customers require. It includes a failure to understand market trends, customer requirements, and business objectives. To solve this waste problem, understanding customers’ needs and having a detailed business plan will solve it.

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