How To Reduce Over-Production

Pancake. This image is CC0!

How do you reduce over-production? The basic rule is simple:

It is best not to reduce over-produced results, because then the damage has had its impact already. You need to prevent over-production. Consider the following tricks:

  • Before producing anything, ask yourself, which value it creates.
  • Sometimes you may produce things, which have no immediate value, but value in the future. Ask yourself: Which value will it have tomorrow, next month, next year? If you only find value in the next year consider producing things later. The waiting impact will be near zero, and you prevent secondary inventory waste.
  • While producing a series of similar things, ask yourself regularly: is it enough already? Stop producing if that is the case.
  • If you produce things regularly (e.g. monthly), check after each production round, if value is still created.
  • Downscale results. Sometimes it is not the number of items produced but the size of the items which is over-production.
  • Simplify results. This is similar to downscaling, because sometimes it is the complexity, not size, of a result which is the over-production.
  • If you detect over-production, check why it could occur. Look out for root causes and eliminate them.
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