Identifying Value Added Activities

Jun 23, 2017 | Business

Having trouble finding good help these days?

Ed Young ( recognizes that pretty much everyone is struggling with this issue. In a growing economy, growth in jobs outstrips the supply of good labor.

In addition to getting more creative in finding and attracting new employees, an often overlooked solution is getting more value from existing staff.

Think about the term value added. Truly value added activities are those which transform a material into a product that a customer is willing to pay for – a good example is the saw operator. Value added time for that job is ONLY the time that the blade is cutting material. Everything else – everything – is non-value-added.

You’re paying for the good labor you already have, plus spending money and time chasing new talent. How much of that time & money is being wasted on non-value-added activities?

As soon as you finish this article, take a few minutes to watch your saw operator. Which activities are value added and which are not? How much of your saw operator’s day is spent on non-value-added activities? Next figure out how can you reduce or eliminate those non-value-added activities. Would it make sense to have a low-wage helper moving product around in your shop to allow your highly skilled and higher paid operators spend more time on value added activities? What can you do to speed up loading and unloading the saw table? Download their handy VA/NVA analysis tool to quantify the impact of making those changes.

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