I recently responded to a question about 5S on a forum. The gist was that the person wanted to know how long to expect 5S to take.
Both myself and another responder quickly mentioned that 5S takes a long, long time. He said months; I said it is never done. The point we both made was that 5S is neither quick, nor easy, despite the simplicity of the concept.
I did, though, see something else in the question that I wanted to ask you about.
The person posting the question was clearly doing 5S as a project. I am a big advocate of not doing 5S on its own. My logic is that your continuous improvement resources are severely constrained. I have yet to encounter the organization that says, “We’ve got so little to do and so much time.” It is invariably the opposite.
So I press people to do 5S as part of improvement efforts. If you are going to make a fixed location for a wrench and mark the location, shouldn’t it be where it will best serve the process? I recommend to people that they develop a good 5S system and then lean (pun unintended) on it whenever they work to improve a process.
Doing improvement projects with 5S included is much slower than simply 5Sing a work area, but I have found that the results are better and more sustainable.
So, what do you think?
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