Lean Thinking, Lean Manufacturing – 5 S

Lean uses the 5S technique to eliminate waste by organizing the workplace. It does not matter whether it is a manufacturing facility spread over many acres or your desk! It is very simple, easy to implement and practical. People can easily see the benefits and the results are usually very quick to realise. There are some people who do not see the benefits of having a tidy desk but most can see the benefits of having a tidy and well ordered manufacturing bench etc. The two are exactly the same, you need to get rid of all the rubbish so that you don’t need to work around it and create a system so that everything has an easily identifiable and accessible place and it stay there.
It should be implemented in manageable sections. Try to identify a natural boundary of say a department, office or work area.
The 5S’s are:
1. Sort
2. Straighten
3. Scrub
4. Systemise Information Technology Industry Overview
5. Standardize
1. Sort
Fairly straightforward How To Start A Business From Scratch really!
Categorize all of the items in the area into three R categories
Retain-Items that are essential. Regular use and occasional use
Return-Items that belong elsewhere
Rid-Get rid of all other items
2. Straighten
Everything has a place and there is a place for everything. Move items that are used regularly to where they are needed. Place tools etc in places that do not interrupt the flow. Label items and make everything clear.
3. Scrub
Clean the whole area and then really clean the area. Clean tools, paint walls and sweep floors. It is everyone responsibility, clean equipment helps to highlight problems earlier, leaks on hoses (or pens) will show up sooner, plus a clean environment is usually a safer environment!
4. Systemise
Make sure you implement regular cleaning schedules to keep it that way. Have procedures in place to ensure things do not go back to how they were. For instance make sure that non essential items/tools do not creep back into the workspace.
5. Standardise
Make sure that all workstations/workplace follow the same procedure and enforce it. New routines and ways of working need embedding and this can sometimes take a little time.

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