26 Apr 2018
Lean warehousing 5S practices involve a very specific and structured approach to getting your entire workplace cleaned up, well organized and standardized. Now you might be wondering the reason why they are called the ‘5S’ practices. The ‘5S’ is based on 5 Japanese words starting with the letter ‘S’ which describes the 5 steps it involves. You may be eager to know what these 5 steps entail. Well, these 5 ‘S’ are - Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.
Implementing the 5S practices is key to maintaining a lean warehouse. The basic objective of implementing 5S is to make problems visible, thus creating a safer workplace. Having a clean and highly organized warehouse is much more than just looking great. It is mainly about having an efficient warehousing operation and smart communication amongst the workplace.
A lot has been said regarding lean warehousing and the 5S practices, but the following are the key benefits of implementing the lean warehousing 5S practices.
1. Enhanced Level of Efficiency
One of the key principles of 5S is to get rid of items that are not used. This makes it easier to find items that are necessary. To implement this strategy, you will get rid of clutter, unwanted items, scrap materials and unused supplies. Instead, only focusing on tools that are needed on a regular basis. This ensures that time is spent more productively by avoiding wasting valuable time to find needed tools and materials amongst the clutter.
With the lean warehousing 5S practices all necessary; materials, tools, machines and equipment are placed in ergonomic locations. This reduces fatigue and quickens access to required materials, resulting in a more efficient workplace.
Pictured: WERKS® Partition Walls - Perforated Panels
2. Increased Safety
One of the primary benefits of the lean warehousing 5S practices is increased workplace safety. The cleanliness of the practices ensures that potential hazards are cleaned up immediately and that potential hazards are detected early, preventing any disastrous situations. In addition to this, the 5S practices result in the elimination of any unsafe warehouse practices that may have existed previously, further protecting employees from any potential hazards or injuries.
3. Reduced Costs
A good amount of space can be freed up by eliminating unused materials and clutter. There is also always a cost associated with the space that those materials were taking up. Not only the cost of renting the space but the cost of heating/cooling, cleaning and maintaining it. Not only will your costs be reduced from clearing this space but that space is then free to be used more efficiently.
4. Improved Maintenance and Less Downtime
By maintaining tools and equipment clean and free of clutter, it can be easier to spot out small defects, failures and problems like oil leaks. This early recognition of a defect allows you to take preventive measures before it becomes a more serious problem.
Pictured: Pallet Racking
5. Improved Morale of Employees
If an employee recognizes that their company cares, employee morale will be boosted, and employees will care more about their job. By implementing lean warehousing 5S practices not only are you creating a safer, cleaner and more efficient workplace but you’re showing your employees that you care about them, their area of work and their safety.
Now it’s time to apply the lean warehousing 5S practices so that you can reap the benefits that the practices bring. If you’re looking for 5s/lean system products for your workplace, contact us at Backsafe Australia, our friendly team are always happy to assist you in creating a more efficient workplace.
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