Lean Supplies

Whether you’re just starting the process of moving your manufacturing facility toward 5s implementation or you’ve been following these best practices for years, you need to keep a full regiment of 5s approved lean supplies on hand at all times.  These supplies will help your business maintain a clean, organized, efficient and above all safe workplace throughout your facility.  There are many different types of supplies available and choosing the right options for your business should be quick and easy.

Types of Lean Supplies

There are dozens of different supplies available, some of which are designed for very specific purposes which you may or may not require and others that are important for all manufacturing facilities. When shopping for lean supplies it is important to have a good idea of what you’ll need ahead of time.  A simple way to get an idea of what you might require is to take a walk through your facility looking at each area with the 5s training in mind.

Depending on the type of facility you’re responsible for you can often quickly spot areas which could benefit from this type of supply.  Here are some quick tips for helping you identify areas which may require lean supplies:

  • Look Down – While walking through your facility take a look at the ground.  If you’re in an area which requires you to stay in specific areas for safety than you should have easily visible markings which will identify where you should and should not go.  You can choose from floor marking tape, stickers, paint or other 5s approved items.  Remember, color coding your markings is a recommended practice for 5s supplies, and using colors which will be visible even in low light is also a good idea.
  • Look Around – Identifying areas which need supplies near eye level is critical.  These can be machinery which have different fluid level indicators which could benefit from zebra cards or warning gauges that are becoming discolored over time.  Keeping all the pressure indicators and fluid level tools easily readable is an excellent way to avoid problems.
  • Walk the Parameter – Check out your walls and make sure any existing safety, efficiency or organization posters are still clearly readable.  These posters can help ensure everyone in the facility knows the important information they display.  Checking any bins with important lean supplies to ensure you’re not running low is critical, and making sure items like spill kits have all the pieces in them should be done regularly.

Of course, since every manufacturing facility is different you’ll want to develop your own routine for checking to see which lean supplies you need to order.  It is critical to check your facility on a regular basis so you don’t learn that you’re out of important supplies only after they are needed.  Making this a part of your overall 5s strategy is recommended to stay within the standards of 5s certification.  There are dozens of different types of lean supplies available today so browse through them all and find the items which can best benefit your facility and help it run cleaner, more efficiently, better organized and of course safer than ever before.

Additional Resources