In Lean manufacturing, “waste” is commonly defined as any action that does not add value to the customer. Essentially, waste is any unnecessary step in a manufacturing process that does not benefit the customer, therefore, the customer does not want to pay for it.
Henry Ford and his team at Ford Motor Company discovered Lean along with the assembly line, even though they didn’t use that term specifically. Dr. Taiichi Ohno and Toyota perfected and popularized Lean through their creation of the Toyota Production System (TPS), or the original seven wastes: Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Extra-Processing and Defects. The 8th waste of non-utilized talent was later included in the 1990s after TPS was adopted in the Western World.