Origins of the term waste
The concept of “waste” in business was coined in the manufacturing industry during late 1940s. It was used by Toyota. In those days, automobiles involved a huge amount of manufacturing, and companies had to charge their customers a high price. The only option for Toyota to reduce car prices was to find ways to reduce the manufacturing costs. As part of this exercise, they started identifying “waste,” which meant the feature (or process step) that did not add value for the customer. Once they identified the waste, they created ways to eliminate that waste from the system.
Over time, “eliminate waste” became the fundamental concept of Lean, which was used in the manufacturing industry.