Wagner-Whitin algorithm
A mathematically complex, dynamic lot-sizing technique that evaluates all possible ways of ordering to cover net requirements in each period of the planning horizon to arrive at the theoretically optimum ordering strategy for the entire net requirements schedule. See: discrete order quantity, dynamic lot sizing.

Waiting line theory
Syn: queuing theory.

Wait time
The time a job remains at a work center after an operation is completed until it is moved to the next operation. It is often expressed as a part of move time.

Authorization to accept an item that, during production or upon inspection, is found to depart from specified requirements, but nevertheless is considered suitable for use as is or after rework.

Syn: pilot test.

Wall-to-wall inventory
An inventory management technique in which material enters a plant and is processed through the plant into finished goods without ever having entered a formal stock area. Syn: four-wall inventory.

Acronym for wide area network.

A device connected to a bar-code reader to identify a bar code.

Wandering bottleneck
Describes the problem of where the bottleneck seems to move around from one resource to another. Wandering bottlenecks are “pseudo-constraints.” Wandering bottlenecks can be caused by policies such as large lot sizes or transfer batch that is equal to process batch.

Warehouse demand
The need for an item to replenish stock at a branch warehouse. Syn: branch warehouse demand.

The activities related to receiving, storing, and shipping materials to and from production or distribution locations.

Warrant of merchantability
An implied warranty that goods are fit for the use to which they are generally applied.

A commitment, either expressed or implied, that a certain fact regarding the subject matter of a contract is presently true or will be true. The word should be distinguished from guarantee, which means a contract or promise by an entity to answer for the performance of a product or person. See: general warranty, guarantee, special warranty.

1) Any activity that does not add value to the good or service in the eyes of the consumer. 2) A by-product of a process or task with unique characteristics requiring special management control. Waste production can usually be planned and somewhat controlled. Scrap is typically not planned and may result from the same production run as waste. See: hazardous waste.

An expert worker who makes rounds of work stations providing assistance as needed. The waterspider knows all processes well enough to take over if needed. At Toyota, this position is a prerequisite to supervision and management positions.

Wave picking
A method of selecting and sequencing picking lists to minimize the waiting time of the delivered material. Shipping orders may be picked in waves combined by common carrier or destination, and manufacturing orders in waves related to work centers.

A document containing a list of goods with shipping instructions related to a shipment.

Web directory
A list of Web pages that is structured hierarchically.

Web page
A document containing hypertext links to certain other documents including multimedia documents.

Web page address
The Internet location of a Web page.

Web searching
Exploring for Internet pages of interest using specialized software called a search engine. Syn: Web surfing.

Web site
A set of interrelated files viewed through a browser. The term generally refers to all the contents on a branch of development, though these may be a superset or a subset of an organization’s actual Web site.

Web surfing
Syn: Web searching.

Weighted moving average
An averaging technique in which the data to be averaged are not uniformly weighted but are given values according to their importance. See: moving average, simple moving average.

Weighted-point plan
A supplier selection and rating approach that uses the input gathered in the categorical plan approach and assigns weights to each evaluation category. A weighted sum for each supplier is obtained and a comparison made. The weights used should sum to 100% for all categories. See: categorical plan.

What-if analysis
The process of evaluating alternate strategies by answering the consequences of changes to forecasts, manufacturing plans, inventory levels, etc. See: simulation.

What-if simulation
An approach to conducting a what-if analysis usually found in MRP II and ERP systems.

Where-used list
A listing of every parent item that calls for a given component, and the respective quantity required, from a bill-of-material file. See: implosion.

Syn: distributor.

Wide area network (WAN)
A public or private data communication system for linking computers distributed over a large geographic area.

Acronym for work in process.

1) Removal of material from stores. 2) A transaction issuing material to a specific location, run, or schedule.

Work breakdown structure
In project management, a hierarchical description of a project in which each lower level is more detailed.

Work cell
Dissimilar machines grouped together into a production unit to produce a family of parts having similar routings.

Work center
A specific production area, consisting of one or more people and/or machines with similar capabilities, that can be considered as one unit for purposes of capacity requirements planning and detailed scheduling. Syn: load center.

Work center schedule
Syn: dispatch list.

Work center where-used
A listing (constructed from a routing file) of every manufactured item that is routed (primary or secondary) to a given work center.

Worker efficiency
A measure (usually computed as a percentage) of worker performance that compares the standard time allowed to complete a task to the actual worker time to complete it. Syn: labor efficiency.

Workers’ compensation
The replacement of an employee’s loss of earnings capacity caused by an occupational injury or disease. Formerly known as workmen’s compensation.

Working capital
Syn: net working capital.

Work in process (WIP)
A good or goods in various stages of completion throughout the plant, including all material from raw material that has been released for initial processing up to completely processed material awaiting final inspection and acceptance as finished goods inventory. Many accounting systems also include the value of semifinished stock and components in this category. Syn: in-process inventory.

Syn: load.

Work order
1) An order to the machine shop for tool manufacture or equipment maintenance; not to be confused with a manufacturing order. Syn: manufacturing order, work ticket. 2) An authorization to start work on an activity (e.g., maintenance) or product.

Work package
In project management, a deliverable at the bottom of a work breakdown structure. This may be treated as a subproject to be assigned to a project manager to plan and execute, in which case this manager will define new activities.

Workplace organization
The arrangement of tools, equipment, materials, and supplies according to their frequency of use. Those items that are never used are removed from the workplace, and those items that are used frequently are located for fast, easy access and replacement. This concept extends the idea of “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

Work rules
1) Compensation rules concerning such issues as overtime, vacation, and shift premiums. 2) Employee and employer job rights and obligation rules, such as performance standards, promotion procedures, job descriptions, and layoff rules. Work rules are usually a part of a union contract and may include a code of conduct for workers and language to ensure decent conditions and health standards.

Work sampling
The use of a number of random samples to determine the frequency with which certain activities are performed.

The assigned location where a worker performs the job; it could be a machine or a workbench.

Work ticket
Syn: work order.

World-class quality
A term used to indicate a standard of excellence: the best of the best.

World Wide Web (WWW)
A set of software, protocols, hypertext conventions, and multimedia techniques that enable use of the Internet.

In accounting, the process of removing an asset from an organization’s books through the expensing process.

Abbreviation for World Wide Web.


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