Gaining Efficiency with 5S

As a business owner if you could improve your business by ten percent, wouldn’t you do it? Of course you would, that is the purpose of the  5S lean initiative.  5S can help your business to become more organized and efficient, and 5S are the first steps in getting your business to implement lean manufacturing concepts. Some businesses have seen improvements of up to thirty percent once they began using the 5S system.

5S Benefits

  • Improved efficiency is probably the greatest benefit that 5S has to offer. By removing the unnecessary clutter in the workspace things can run more smoothly and with less effort.
  • Reducing delays and lost tools and components is another benefit of the 5S. Because information will not be lost, problems will be fixed faster and more accurately.
  • Time taken for software setups is reduced because tools and equipment are clearly labeled and visible.
  • Employee morale will rise due to the improved working conditions with 5S. Stress levels will lower and wasted time will be no more.

Getting Started with 5S

When starting your 5S system, it is always best to ask an expert. This expert may come from your current staff or by hiring a licensed consultant. Either way, you want to make sure that the training is done correctly. You should make sure your entire staff is onboard when the training sessions occur. 5S will run more efficiently if everyone is up to speed on how to use the system.

Basic Steps of the 5S Program

  • Sort– Sorting all unnecessary clutter out and leaving only the necessary items is the key to using your 5S system. This will make the workplace more efficient and easy to manage.
  • Straighten– Put things in order for easier use of information. Make sure that information can be easily retrieved so that it is available when needed. Identify missing items or errors so that they may be spotted quickly.
  • Sweep & Shine- Make sure that the workplace is kept clean. This will allow for quicker problem solving and knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Standardize– Make sure that regular audits are completed on a daily basis. Make sure that steps one, two and three are done on a daily basis. Maintain what you have strived for while using your 5S.
  • Sustain– Follow the above steps so that your 5S system will do the best possible job for your business. Create an environment so that your employees will be able to succeed with the tools they are given.
  • Safety– Safety is the most important factor. Make sure the first five steps are followed to maximize the safety of your employees.

Research Your Options

5S is just one of the the methodologies that can help your business implement lean manufacturing practices.  There are a number of different software vendors that provide solutions that help businesses implement 5S practices, and leveraging those core principles can help organizations maximize profits by operating lean and mean.