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It's amazing what you find when you undertake 5S!

Today I was working with some of my client's staff on a 5S orientated project.

In fact we were gearing up to implement a component Kanban for a busy factory, but the area needed to be organised first.

So, we used the 5S approach, which we all remember as:

  1. Sort
  2. Set in Order
  3. Shine
  4. Standards
  5. Sustain
(Or, a variant of these headings - depending what your background is!)

Even after a couple of hours the place looked so much better, we now have designated areas for incoming parts, production and production ready components.

But, the bit that always strikes me is the amount of useful stuff the people find whilst they were clearing out the junk.

Items that can be used to help with production (i.e. tools and materials) that had been lost through poor management of the working area.

So, my challenge for you today is this - what good stuff is hidden by the clutter in your working areas (and I include computer servers in that challenge too!)?

Giles Johnston
Author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' online course for improving continuous improvement skills.

P.S. If you are looking for some simple real world guidance on how to make 5S work for your business then get your copy of 'Making 5S Work' from here.