Why Do Manufacturers Implement a 5S System?
The wasting of time is often an issue for most manufacturers, especially in regard to employee equipment. Workers constantly look for tools or equipment randomly stored on the production floor and might work in an unsuitable workstation. This might impact productivity, increase quality issues or create safety risks. Several factors influence this type of waste:
- Tools shared between workstations
- Lack of organization at the workstation
- Pointless tools or missing tools for the work
- Bad layout and ergonomics at the workstation
- Difficulty to choose which tools are relevant
The importance of 5S
A 5S methodology helps organize workstations and facilitates workers’ operations. The 5S reduces wasted time related to tool searching and eliminates unnecessary transportation or movements. It also reduces the risk of using the wrong tools or wrong information to get the job done, thereby reducing quality and compliance issues. The standardization creates a safer workplace and promotes optimal working conditions for employees. To sum up, manufacturers gain more control on operations when equipped with the right tools to monitor 5S practices.
The 5 steps of the methodology
- Sort (Seiri)
Get organized and sort out the tools needed for the job at the correct location. Evaluate if the tools are necessary and determine the missing one.
- Set in order (Seiton)
Organize workstations to operate smoothly. Assign fixed locations for tools and equipment based on their function, type of work and usage.
- Shine (Seiso)
Clean and inspect the workplace on a regular basis. Schedule recurrent cleaning periods into employees’ calendars.
- Standardize (Seiketsu)
Standardize any process to comply with 5S and ensure the workplace is intuitive to use. Standardize the daily routine to support new 5S practices.
- Sustain (Shitsuke)
Sustain and monitor 5S methods. Implement improvement of standards with the help of workers’ inputs. Eliminate recurrent gaps that arise, train new team members and coach supervisors.
Deploying a 5S helps to control operations, maintain a safer workplace and establish continuous improvement. However, the lack of indicators on performance and poor management of discrepancies harsh how managers involve team members in 5S activities.
Get the tools to ensure compliance with 5S and improve the workplace standards
A management system allows operators and frontline managers to ensure the 5S success with stronger standards, improvement opportunities and rigorous monitoring. Let’s find out how Tervene supports a 5S system through the daily control of operations.
Standardize audit forms across the organization and perform 5S audits on equipment, visual indications, workstations, tools and materials. Analyze the performance of the 5S standard and monitor your team’s adherence to the 5S methodology.
Proactive Gemba Walk
Ensure operations go accordingly to plan with a frequent Gemba Walk questions list and 5S validation points. Identify gaps against the standard and document the issue with comments and photos.
Create a list for employees to consult 5S standards and validate their own workstations. Add photos and videos of the workstation to represent what the standard is.
Share 5S issues to a meeting agenda and assign corrective actions. Create a 5S committee to involve all levels of employees. Enable each department supervisor to follow up on nonconformities raised on the floor.
Handling 5S related discrepancies
5S Employee training
Continuously train employees with digital procedures on hand. Help your supervisors monitor 5S performance to identify gaps against the workstation standards. Identify training needs and promote 5S importance among employees.
Digitalize and share workstations standards. Document cleaning process and work instructions. Doing so will help employees know how to set in order tools, clean the workstation or use tools.
How does a digital management system help with 5S activities?
With a connected daily management system, leading manufacturers can:
- Improve compliance with management routines (Leader Standard Work)
- Foster supervisors’ proactivity to identify gaps from 5S
- Improve the 5S system according to the organization objectives
- Update 5S checklist and easily share the cleaning procedures
- Get better visibility on 5S performance level
- Engage all employees in improvement opportunities
Sustaining the 5S performance helps reduce waste in the long term: time for waiting for tools, non-utilized talent, unnecessary movements of people, transportation of materials, errors causing defects and work incidents. A 5S system is an excellent way to begin with continuous improvement on the production floor.
Daily management of operations with Tervene
Tervene supports organizations’ daily operations control. Our connected platform empowers frontline teams and top management to reach operational excellence with stronger daily management, collaboration and problem-solving processes.
Manufacturing and operation leaders such as Safran, Mars Wrigley, Lactalis, Siemens, Cascades and many SMBs digitized their management practices with our help: Gemba walks, daily checks, audits, inspections, operational meetings, digital procedures, improvement management and much more.