Quality Circles

4 min read Companies are always looking for ways to improve the quality of the products and services they provide. In addition, they are constantly trying to find ways to cut waste and improve the way the company operates. While there are certainly a lot of different strategies that can effectively improve quality in many ways, quality circles are among the best. Implementing quality circles into your company is a great way to find opportunities for improvement as …

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From the Bottom Up: You and Your New 5S Program

5S guide and poster

2 min read Making the choice to implement a 5S program is making the choice to better your business as a whole. There are all kinds of benefits that a company can enjoy by entering into the world of 5S—a few of them being quality output of product, efficiency, and safety improvements. Using 5S not only increases your overall profit, but it also changes the safety culture for the better and makes employees happier. Your plan for implementing …

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Safety – The Last Pillar of 6S

Two safety workers meeting

2 min read Everyone knows how useful 5S is and how it transforms a messy workplace into something tidier and more productive. However, let’s remind ourselves of what goes into a well-rounded 5S program that is there to stay, rather than one that fizzles out and disappears. Sort/Seri is the first step in a workplace transformation which aims to sort out frequently used and unused equipment. Set in Order/Seiton aims to organize and place the more frequently used …

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Using 5S Tools to Keep a Clean and Efficient Workspace

clean workplace

3 min read 5S is used in all kinds of businesses ranging from occupations in manufacturing to office jobs. Its ubiquity is due to the relatively simple and cohesive application that results in greatly improved working conditions not only for employees but for the success of the company as a whole. Those improvements boil down to a spotless workspace that results in efficiency, improvements regarding safety, and the elimination of waste. Now, the five steps that 5S is …

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Foundational Concepts of Lean

foundational concepts of Lean

3 min read Lean manufacturing utilizes a number of strategies and tools to improve the business by boosting productivity and eliminating waste. The following are just a handful of the most common Lean tools, many have been adopted from manufacturing in Japan and the Toyota Production System . 5S (The Visual Workplace) 5S is a system of creating workplace organization to reduce/eliminate waste created by clutter, lack of information, duplication, underutilized space, inconsistency in processes, etc. Components of …

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What is a Gemba Walk?

What is a Gemba walk

3 min read Gemba walks are an important concept in your Lean toolbox. Managers and business leaders go on  (“go and see”) walks to observe firsthand how the production line is operating. The Objective of a Gemba Walk In businesses, managers often look to company leaders for direction. The value created by a business, though, exists out on the work floor. By taking Gemba walks, managers can get ideas for improvement from the place where value is actually …

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The 5S Shine Pillar – Inspection and Maintenance

5S Shine Inspection and Maintenance

2 min read The third step of 5S is Seiso, a Japanese term translated to mean Shine. During Shine, workers are encouraged to do a deep cleaning of their space, ensuring there is no grime, dust, or oil spills remaining. However, it is important to remember that cleaning is not the only facet of this phase and that Shining also includes inspection and routine maintenance. While employees are completing the sanitization of their work cells, it is a …

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Lean Is More Than Its Tools

2 min read I talked with a guy yesterday about 5S and how well it would work at his office.  I asked him what the problem was, and he said, “Oh, you know, it’s messy and I want people to be tidier.” I didn’t laugh or anything, but I let him know that 5S, under the larger lean umbrella, is about improving things, reducing waste, and solving problems.  5S, specifically, isn’t about tidying the office.  It’s a bit …

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How to Organize Your Shop: Try 5S

3 min read Are you needing some organization in your workshop?  Do you spend more time trying to find tools and supplies and less time actually working? Are you hoping to improve your efficiency and cut your waste down?  Would doing all of this help to improve quality to the customer and possibly even reduce prices? Well, you are starting to find yourself approaching the tenets of something many in the manufacturing industry have studied and implemented for …

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Executing a 5S Launch

3 min read If you’re considering implementing a 5S system in a facility, it is essential to take the time to do it right. When done properly, the 5S system can be an effective way to clean and organize a workplace, allowing it to run more efficiently. If the 5S launch isn’t well thought out,  it can lead to disaster. One of the most important things to have in place for a 5S launch is the full support of upper …

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