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We had a recent 5S project in our shipping warehouse where our forklifts would pick orders. The visual system that was in place on our inventory racks were basically non-existent. We were having a large turnover in staff and anytime we had a new forklift driver, it would take them months to grasp what aisles and racks to go to and pick the correct parts on the orders. Only the drivers that worked at the company for a long period of time would know where to go, however, this was causing quality issues because of the wrong items being pulled. The warehouse lacked visual signs and proper grouping of parts on racks. We ended up grouping like/similar parts together on the racks with large visual signs that we made using a label printer. It was a large project but the quality issues have improved greatly in our shipping department.
This is correct. However, let’s make sure to add that 5S is another tool that helps eliminate the 8 wastes defined in lean manufacturing. The 8 wastes include transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over-processing, defects, and skills. 5S is another tool in the toolbox to help make a company more lean and efficient. Some of the great visual tools that we have used in our 5S events would be safety signs, floor tape, label makers, red cards, etc… 5S is a great way to make things organized and visual but the most important and difficult step is the last “S”, Sustain. If you can accomplish the last step, your company will be very successful with future lean events and projects.
I believe Sustain is the most important step in 5S. Therefore, Sustain is also the hardest step out of the 5S steps. If you can’t conquer the Sustain step, then the 5S project will instantly fail. It’s essential to make sure you have every tool available (like a 5S Audit Sheet) for your employees to have a chance at success with the Sustain step.
There is a lot of good information that you provided in your post. In our 5S project, we utilized the 5S Audit Sheet to help communicate everyone’s responsibility. It has been a great tool for our shift leaders to make sure all the tools are put back where they belong. It also helps with making sure that everything is sustained.
We implemented Asset Tagging in our last 5S project and it has been running strong ever since. It helps us keep more organized and has saved us by being able to find the right tools for the right machine. I highly recommend implementing Asset Tagging in your next 5S project.
Hi, when it comes to sustaining 5S, it’s essential to recognize that it is not simply just a destination but a journey that will evolve as processes continue to change over time. Team members need to take ownership of the “sustain” improvements and follow through with the SOP’s that were put in place. In essence, everyone needs to be on board and dedicated.
Hi, we implemented 5S in our workplace just a few weeks ago. It was defiantly not just housekeeping but involves almost every aspect/process within our work environment. We are just starting to scrape the surface of 5S but are already noticing some beneficial results.
When we implemented 6S within our facility, we noticed an immediate improvement in the number of near misses and safety incidents. Make sure safety is accounted for through each of the 5S steps.
Great topic! I’ve seen 5S fail because the team/company wasn’t invested. There was a lack of leadership and training. It’s essential if you are going to implement 5S to have a strong leader that understands the Lean/5S methodology. This comes down to the company you are working for to invest in the lean journey.
When implementing 5S within your workplace, safety should always be a focus. 5S provides better housekeeping which should decrease the amounts of slip, trips, and falls. However, adding the 6th “S” will provide a much thorough safety approach to 5S. Therefore, I think 6S should always be used when implementing this lean technique.
Training! Training! Training! This is essential to make sure your 5S journey starts in the right direction.
I have used 5S in the office setting and it works great! It can be surprising how a clean environment in the office can help streamline small tasks or help find things when they’re out of place. Basically, anything out of the ordinary will be obvious and point you in the right direction for potential improvement.
Hope this helps.
The best approach to implementing 5S within the workplace is to go in with a plan. I have found that training your employees first about 5S is the best approach. Everybody needs to have a clear understanding of the advantages of 5S. Also, your employees have the correct tools to begin their lean journey. This could be anything from 5S red tags, shadow boards, label printer, floor tape etc..
I hope this helps!