Excess Motion tends to hide problems on the workshop floor, which must be identified and resolved in order to improve operating performance. This waste is related to physically moving and is seen in all instances of bending, stretching, walking, lifting, and reaching. These are also health and safety issues to be considered by steel businesses. Jobs with excessive motion should be constantly reviewed and redesigned for improvement.

The Steel Efficiency Review® process recommends operations and productions teams to make what the customer wants when they want it, pulling only what is ordered through your work flow. Excess Motion causes increases in direct physical costs and indirect costs such as the not required motion of workers, allowing for possible safety concerns and the damage and loss of good workers, the cost of compensation claims, even the costs of insuring workers. Many businesses fail to eliminate excess motion as a waste as they simply won’t change current operational and production methods or are not convinced on the improvement or change required.


  • Pool Warehouse Layout
    Excess Motion can be caused by poor warehouse layout and lack of balance in the work flow – causing workers to physically move product and themselves unnecessarily. Examples comprise placing steel products at floor level on pallets, poorly arranged warehouse space, lack of space and no organization for component parts.
  • Work Method Matching Design
    Another cause can be the design of a steel business’ working method, does it cause a shuffle in production processes and re-arrange the products being worked on. Design of the product itself can impact in the same manner – forcing workers to either cut corners or over exert themselves based on inefficient design and specifications.
  • Unclear Standards
    Many operators will try to do the best job possible and risk their own safety by either doing more to the product or less by adding or removing a process in a rush. Moving too quickly and not following procedure will lead to either harm to the worker or product. This is a risk most steel businesses cannot afford.


Utilising the Steel Efficiency Review® to better understand businesses serving diverse industries, our SER® consultants have recommended the following 3 key solutions to help with EXCESS MOTION:

    5S implementation with the use of Standard Operating Procedures to provide written instructions for all of your employees. These procedures will ensure the standardisation of methods across shifts and workers, combined with on the job training they are an highly effective way to improve the quality of your product as well as ensuring the reduction in MOTION.
    Look at the warehouse layout and by balancing the production processes to ensure that work in progress does not build up between production lines. It is not important to run every machine as fast as it can be run, at the end of the day we only need to make things as quickly as the customer wants them, no faster. A reviewed layout can ensure that we balance our processes and prevent excess motion.
    Movement is not work, but it costs steel businesses’ time and money; so look to examining and reducing wasteful motions from setup processes. Every step a worker makes equals a dollar in ‘lean manufacturing terms’. This will reduce and eliminate excessive motion from production steps.


We have found if you could eliminate or possibly reduce Excess Motion the savings would go straight back on your bottom line. The Steel Efficiency Review® aims to provide recommendations to change and improve our customer’s business and at the same time our product and service offer.

Download our State of Market Reports for our insights and learnings after completing 1,011 Steel Efficiency Review® consultations on businesses of all shapes and sizes across Australia. To register for your own FREE Steel Efficiency Review® click here.