Post-COVID Strategy Deployment Part 3: 5s Workplace Organization

Effectively implementing your lean supply chain management strategy can help your business survive post-pandemic labor and materials shortages.

Your value stream map that we discussed in part 2 shows you wasteful parts of your production and administrative procedures that you can revise for increased efficiency. You can also take your workplace into consideration. 

‌‌To further streamline your lean strategy, examine your physical workspaces to eliminate waste and redundancy. Incito’s 5S method for workplace organizational consulting can help you manage workspaces and office procedures to eliminate physical obstacles and other aspects keeping your business from running efficiently. 

What is 5S Workplace Organization?

This methodology for organizational consulting is a systematic assessment of your organization and its workspaces, from management offices to the production line. It can be used to identify physical barriers to productivity. Using 5s organization principles to evaluate your workspaces identifies value-added versus non-value added activities and allows you to develop practical solutions for your lean logistics.

‌‌Each “S” refers to a Japanese term which is then collectively applied to make your supply chain more efficient. 

  • ‌Sort (Seiri)  ̶  Organization: Eliminate unnecessary items and materials from physical parts of your supply chain. Make sure your production employees can easily access materials needed to complete their jobs. Remove physical barriers that make the process less efficient.  
  • ‌ Straighten (Seiton) – Orderliness: This term refers to how each part of your supply chain is organized from the front office to the storage warehouse. Better organization makes it easier to move between each step of the process, eliminating wasted time. 
  • ‌Shine (Seiso) – Cleanliness: Shine goes beyond simply cleaning your offices and operational workspaces. It involves thoroughly inspecting and cleaning workspaces and equipment and/or making repairs to remove the source of deficiencies. 
  • ‌Standardize (Seiketsu) – Standardized cleanup and housekeeping: In order to maintain the first three steps in the 5S process, create standardized procedures that keep each workspace organized. 
  • ‌ Sustain (Shitsuke) – Discipline: At this stage of the process, you will train and educate workers in each area of the organization on new procedures that let you implement each 5S principle. 

How a Lean Logistics Strategy Can Help Your Business Post Pandemic

‌During normal conditions, implementing a lean logistics strategy tends to scare workers who think that improved efficiency will lead to layoffs. But the logistics economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, and there are labor shortages in each step of the supply chain. 

‌‌Reorganizing your typical processes to be leaner is one way to cope with these shortages without impacting your customers. It can also help you retain your current employees, because increased efficiency ultimately makes your company more profitable. 

How Incito Applies the 5S Organization Strategy to Lean Supply Chain Management

‌Incito will audit each part of your supply chain applying the 5S principles and noting how to organize for added efficiency. We will use the results to create a deployment model that makes it easier for you and your employees to adapt new procedures. 

‌‌You can use the model to reduce clutter from your business environment and create simple steps to develop a routine for cleaning and maintenance. This technique also lets you identify parts of your supply chain process that can be cleaned up to save time without compromising quality. Additionally, it allows you to have procedures in place for resolving failures in the system. Each part of your process will be organized and streamlined. 

‌‌We partner with you to guide you through each step of the deployment strategy. This can entail small changes like adding visual cues that empower your employees to stick with new procedures, to full training at the beginning of your lean strategy to guide you and your employees through each new step. 

‌‌The 5S organization model offers a more sustainable approach to production. Not only does this method let you adapt to labor and materials shortages brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it also helps you achieve a more cost effective strategy that can make your company more profitable in the long run. 

How Incito Can Help

Prior to COVID-19, your company was likely thriving or at least running well with typical procedures in place. But this pandemic has hit the logistics industry hard, and labor and materials shortages are impacting companies throughout the world. A 5S workplace organizational analysis can help you deal with these hardships and improve your sustainable operations long after things have returned to normal. 

‌‌Contact Incito to learn more about 5S organization principles and how you can apply them to your lean strategy. 

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