Clean & organized work-spaces are much easier to work in, whether it be a shop floor, a hospital ward or in an office. When items are where you need them when you need them there, it saves a lot of time, effort and frustration. 5S is a great place to start your Lean initiatives and process improvements.
So what is 5S?
It’s a visual management tool that makes abnormal conditions obvious. When you’re overrun with inventory, tools, or just plain have “too much stuff”, it often becomes very difficult to tell if you have the items you need or not. When that happens, it leads to other issues: overproduction, over-ordering, premium freight, increased overtime… and bad decisions.
If a customer walks through your organization today, what would they think about how clean and organized it is? Would they choose to do business with you based upon what they saw?
The steps of 5S
- Sort your workspace get rid of what you don’t need, bring in what you do (and don’t have).
- Set in Order Determine where the best place is for everything and then make it obvious.
- Shine by cleaning floors, equipment, furniture and tools to ensure that they are in good working order and ready to perform. From there, eliminate the root causes of contamination: leaking pipes, bad ventilation, etc. to keep things clean and ready to go.
- Standardize to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect. This relies on visual controls and standard routines established by the group.
- Sustain is achieving the discipline or habit of properly maintaining the correct 5S procedures. This is the hardest part; we can show you proven methods to prevent losing the ground you worked so hard to gain!