Productivity is a key issue in manufacturing environments and our customers are constantly looking for ways to improve their productivity and reduce total costs. 5S is a great way to get a business organized and productive. 5S might sound scary or little different, but it’s one of the most widely adopted techniques in establishing operational stability and sustaining continuous improvement.
5S is a lean methodology derived from five Japanese words. It is designed to reduce waste and optimize productivity through better and more effective organization. The five categories of the 5S are Sort (Seiri), Set in Order (Seiton), Shine (Seiso) Standardize (Seiketsu) and Sustain (Shitsuke). In 5S, visual devices such as red tags, floor marking tapes and shelf labels are used to ensure everything has a place, and that everything remains in its place. This not only keeps everything clean and organized, but also helps you to see what you have, what you need and what is getting low, ultimately, helping you to save time and money.
With some help from our friends at Brady, we will detail each of these 5S pillars, explain the process and how these guidelines for a visual workplace can benefit your company.
Step One: SORT
The first step is as simple as going through what you have and determining what you want and need to keep, and what you can get rid of. This includes sorting through all tools and materials, only keeping the essentials. Anything that doesn’t make the cut, discard! This will keep your workplace clutter and hazard free.
Step Two: SET IN ORDER
Did you know that 75% of knowledge is gained through visuals? The second step in 5S is to look for ways to reduce any sources of waste and errors in your facility, and in the process, make it more visually instructive. By adding visuals to the workplace, employees have the information they need to effectively do their jobs, cut down on wasted time and be more effective.
Areas of focus include:
- Organizing equipment
- Establishing safety measures
- Creating procedures
- Establishing product quality standards
- Creating effective inventory and material handling
Step Three: SHINE
Step three simply put means CLEAN. By eliminating dust, dirt and sources of contamination/debris and inspecting your equipment in the process, you can improve the safety and productivity of your facility. Once you get your workplace clean, create a plan or process to ensure you can maintain its appearance and use preventative measures to keep it that way.
Step Four: STANDARDIZE
Next, you need to expand your efforts and create best practices to make the improved workplace a standard. To do this, it’s important to have clear and consistent visual controls, roles and responsibilities. This includes job scheduling boards, employee schedules and check sheets, supply checkout boards, safe state visuals and Lead Daily Management (LDM) boards.
Step Five: SUSTAIN
This step is all about ensuring that employees understand that workplace organization is a top priority. It is a goal to continually improve the workplace.
Safety is built into the 5S structure by identifying potential hazards, risks and creating preventive safety processes to keep your workplace operating at 100% and helping to keep your team safe.
Through our French Gerleman Stock Optimization Program, we can help you to implement the 5S structure and get your facility to optimum productivity. We have many products and solutions, such as our Job Site Storage Mobile Carts, that can help get you and your employees stay organized. You can also learn more about how Brady utilizes 5S with their products HERE.
If you’re interested in learning more about 5S or how to increase your company’s productivity, give your French Gerleman Account Manager a call today!