Lean Office is the Concept to Improve Administration Skills
3rd Tool - The 5S – CLEANLINESS AND ORDERLINESS
One of the first tools and easiest to implement is 5S. Starting with this tool helps bring workers together and begins to create an attitude of improvement. 5S is powerful because it shows immediate results and empowers the workers to start thinking of more improvements. 5S is also a tool that makes people happy because the result is a clean, orderly environment – a place for everything and everything in its place.
WHAT IS 5S?
The practice of 5S began on the production floor to ensure safety, cleanliness, and order. It originated in the Toyota Production System and stands for the 5 steps to organize and maintain an efficient work environment. Each of the steps start with the letter S sound in Japanese.
1- Seiri (Sort)
Eliminate all items from the work area that are not needed
2- Seiton (Straighten)
Put things in order by designating a visible location which is clearly marked
(Scrub or Shine)
Clean everything in the work area to a new (sometimes unknown) level of Cleanliness
4- Seiketsu (Standardize)
Create standards for the first three steps, so they are easily preserved
5- Shitsuke (Sustain)
Maintain the process and make the commitment to continue the 5S as a way of life extending it to all other areas
Using the 5S system will start to improve the workflow as wasteful processes are eliminated.
The benefits of 5S are:
-Additional workspace is created
-Better communication between workers (Associates), and departments (Areas of Responsibility)
-Stress is reduced
-Workflow is more streamlined
-Everyone is involved and this creates an atmosphere of sharing ideas and Ownership of each one's responsibility in the process
5S IN DEPTH
Let’s look at each step in detail. Note: Each step must be done in order.
1. SORT – Things that are not needed are thrown out, recycled, or given to charity. They are moved out of the work area. As items are sorted, mark them “Need,” “Maybe,” or “Not Needed.” The “Maybe” pile is gone through to separate the items into the other two piles, making sure no one is still using any of those items. The “Maybe’s” are either a keep or discard.
-Discard and shred any reports that are not needed.
-If the work area is receiving reports or emails that are no longer needed or irrelevant, tell the senders to stop.
-Get rid of old, unused, or broken (not repairable) furniture and equipment.
-If the needed equipment or furniture can be repaired, get it done immediately.
-Get rid of boxes filled with odds and ends – the things no one knows what to do with and saving it “just in case we need it.”
-Take down old notices on bulletin boards, cubes, walls, etc.
-Look in closets, under desks, drawers, under stairs, etc.
-Redistribute excess supplies to other departments.
-Get rid of old dishes, mugs, cups, silverware, glasses, etc.
2. STRAIGHTEN – Organize and arrange the work area with the needed items. Establish a permanent location for each.
-Make items and information easy to find. Keep it neat and orderly.
-Label drawers and shelves so everyone can find things quickly and return them to their right locations. Use visual cues like signs and color-coding.
-Map out the workflow, using this as a blueprint to organize and streamline processes.
-Check office supply catalogs and stores for storage devices, large calendars, color-coded files, visual boards, etc.
-Post schedules for order status, production, sales year-to-date, employee work, break, lunch schedules, and team goals
3. SCRUB or SHINE – All parts of the work area need to immaculately clean. An office can look organized, but if it is dirty, there is a feeling of poor quality. Customers and employees feel it. Once the office or work area is clean and shiny, it benefits the attitude and morale of everyone.
-Establish a schedule of regular cleaning and who is responsible for each task.
-Individual workers must commit to keeping their areas and desks clean and orderly.
-Be sure there are plenty of trash bins along with recyling bins clearly labeled.
-Organize all electrical and computer wires.
-Clean carpets, windows, and equipment.
-Repair any broken or chipped surfaces.
-Make sure cleaning supplies are readily available.
-Paint walls that are stained or show wear.
-Replace bulbs, batteries, and parts…have extras on hand.
-Keep customer areas very clean and very neat.
4. STANDARDIZE– This step involves writing the guidelines to keep up the work area using the first 3 steps. After all, we do not want the area to go back to the mess it was in the first place. All the workers in the area are responsible for keeping it clean and orderly.
-Post guidelines in a prominent or common area and list who is responsible for each task and when (daily, weekly, monthly).
-Regularly evaluate these guidelines and improve them if necessary.
-Do the “30 second test” where any worker can find anything (electronic or paper) in their area in 30 seconds or less. If it takes longer than 30 seconds, brainstorm ways to improve.
-Use pictures to show where items need to go.
5. SUSTAIN– To ensure the continuation of the first 4 steps, there must be commitment from everyone to whole process. That is what sustaining 5S is all about. 5S becomes a regular part of the work routine.
-Every worker understands and takes part in the high standards of 5S.
-All 5S activities are clearly identified.
-Audits can sustain the standards and show were improvement is needed.
-Use communication programs and recognition activities to sustain morale and positive attitudes. Celebrate success stories.
-Have 5S training in place for new hires so they can learn from the beginning about your company’s commitment to 5S.
(From; The Kaizen Blitz)
Cluttered work area; many unneeded items in random locations
Some unneeded items remain; somewhat easier to find needed items
Only needed items remain; some locations not defined
Only the bare essentials remain; location of items clearly defined
No organization; needed items are lost in the clutter
Some organization; all locations are not defined; only a few visual cues
All items neatly arranged; defined locations and visual cues such as color-coding
A visual work area with a place for everything and everything in its place
Very dirty work area; trash bins overflowing
Work area is generally clean; no evidence of routine cleaning; no inspection
Cleaning and inspection of work area is evident
A spotless, inviting work area; obvious attention to detail
No evidence of documented routine
Procedures exist but no evidence of being carried out
Procedures clearly in place and beginning to be practiced
Clearly defined and effective procedures in constant use
No evidence of management monitoring or support
Visual measures of 5S are posted
Continuous improvement process in place; evidence of management follow-up
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