The Five-S’s; Getting Started

[tweetmeme] John and the 5S Pilot Team have just completed the 5S Pre-Audit and are ready to really get started! They have two hours of line time to start the process. John is starting with a 30 minutes of classroom training but will keep it brief. The real learning is hands-on out on the production floor. The agenda always starts with Safety , then there is a quick overview of the 5S’s-Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. John will then review what is planned for today, the 1st S-Sort, then finish with questions.

Now that the classroom training is done and questions are answered, the team is heading to the Pilot Line. The first order of business is to Sort all unneeded items out of the Pilot Line Teams’ zone. The team will thoroughly sort through all items within their zone. Everything will be sorted and classified in one of the following 6 groups:

1. Needed Daily: Examples would be tools, wipes, gloves, calculators, pens, forms, and other supplies. These will be kept near the point of use.

2. Needed Frequently: Change parts or tools needed for less frequent change overs may fall in this category.

3. Needed Infrequently: Specialty tools and items needed for infrequent production runs are examples.

4. Redundant: These items are needed but there are more than necessary kept on the production line. Examples might be 5 calculators when there are only 3 operators. Excessive pens, change-parts, cleaning supplies, etc. Return these parts to the parts room or supplies cabinet.

5. Not Needed by this team: Give these items back to the team that needs them.

6. Not Needed: These items are to be taken directly to the designated Red Tag area. Tag these items with a red tag. Don’t be afraid to red tag items. When in doubt, Sort it out! They will sit in the Red Tag area for 72 hours to give everyone the opportunity to let you know if you are about to throw something away that is needed elsewhere. This is a good step to take because your Pilot Team won’t know everything. Just make sure that you have a couple of the right people review the items. I’d suggest that a seasoned operator and mechanic both review the red tag area with you. After 72 hours, recycle, sell to salvage, or throw these items away.

Record information like the date, item description, and estimated ball-park value of any items that are redundant, not needed by this team, or not needed at all. It is interesting to see the value of the items that were in limbo and not being used. Those that are placed back in inventory or used by another team will save you money since you won’t buy them again.

What other benefits does the Pilot Team enjoy? A more organized work area is safer since there have eliminated trip hazards and possibly other hazards. They have freed up space, reduced inventory costs, made it easier to find what they do need, and they have reduced the chance of lost inventory going obsolete. Avoiding a back or knee injury and surgery could save you $50,000 or more. The inventory savings could easily be that high as well. Not bad for a 2 hour investment.

The two hours fly by for John and the 5S Pilot Team. All items in their area has been designated. The team is ready to Set Limits & Locations but that will have to wait for tomorrow.
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See 5 Reasons for 5S, all 7 Steps to 5S or the Pre-Audit. The 5s Audit Form is one I developed based on my 5S experience in Food Processing plants. Other forms are available if you do a google search on 5S Audit Forms. I would be pleased to e-mail a copy of mine to you if you request it in the comments below or contact me via twitter or LinkedIn.

Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article (also right sidebar). Your feedback is appreciated.

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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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One Response to The Five-S’s; Getting Started

  1. Pingback: Getting started with Ecwid | Pro Solutions Home

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