Faster – 10 Tips to Increase Your Productivity

Faster – 10 Tips to Increase Your ProductivityEveryone knows that there are only 24 hours in a day, and it is impossible to get any more added on. When thinking about increasing production in a facility, this means you must always think first about how to become more productive, rather than just trying to get people to work more hours. Improved productivity is a great way to eliminate waste in facilities, and get the added production that you need for the company.

The following great tips will help any facility run more efficiently.  The best thing about these tips is that they can be implemented by individuals or entire facilities with great effect. Even just implementing one or two of them can be a great way to start down the road toward improved productivity.

10 Tips to Increase Your Productivity

1. Improve Technology

Technological advancements over the past century are absolutely astounding. Every industry has benefited from machinery, computers and other technical advancements. When working on improving productivity, start by looking at the technologies (or lack thereof) that your facility is using. Consider updating systems or implementing new technologies to help get more work done for every hour of the day.

2. Take Action

While thinking about what the best approach to certain things is a good idea, many people (and companies) make the mistake of over-thinking every little decision. In many cases you’ll waste far more time contemplating the best course of action than you could possibly save. Make sure you know when it is more productive to just take action instead of thinking about every possible scenario.

3. End Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the biggest killers of productivity in the world today. When people put something off to do later, it is not only wasting time at the moment, but also in the future.  Find ways to break the cycle of procrastination and learn to get things done right away.

4. Raise the Bar

Setting the bar high for your goals, and those of your facility, is a great way to get more done. When more is expected of people, they almost always raise to the occasion. Whether it is someone’s competitive spirit or their desire to succeed, setting the bar high can often encourage people to accomplish more than they would have dreamed possible.

5. Forget About Perfection

Perfection is great, but in reality it is not attainable. Focusing on getting everything 100% perfect every time can be a huge waste of time. Figure out what level of excellence you need to hit for each task, and then make sure to get to that point. Constant improvement can continue, but in the meantime your productivity will go up dramatically if you stop worrying about making sure every tiny detail is perfect.

Free 5S guide

6. Eliminate Interruptions

Phone calls, co-workers stopping in to chat, smoke-breaks and any other interruption of work is a real productivity killer. While it is impossible to eliminate every interruption, every one that can be gotten rid of will be a great accomplishment. When people are able to focus on one task they can complete things far faster than if you have to stop and start the activity over and over again.

7. Delegate

Many people think that the only way to get things done right is to do them yourself. While there are certainly tasks that are best left to one person, many others can be delegated. Delegating work to others is a great way to get more done each day, because you’re effectively adding more productive hours by allowing someone else to help.

8. Prioritize

A lot of time is wasted on unimportant tasks each day. In fact, many of the things people spend time on really don’t have a big impact on the bottom line at all. Prioritize the work that needs to be done and focus on the most important things first. The trivial items can get left behind without causing too many problems.

9. Make a List

Lists are a great way to keep track of what you need to do, and when. Combining a list with the prioritization can help ensure less time is wasted on things that don’t really need to get done. Checking items off of lists is also a great way to get a sense of accomplishment, which can be very motivating.

10. Focus

Focusing your efforts will help you to accomplish a lot more with the time you are given. Focusing is a term that can be used to combine many of the above mentioned tips. When you’re focused, you are not distracted or interrupted or procrastinating or wasting your time thinking about perfection. If you can focus on what you’re doing, you’ll become much more productive.

5S: Commit to the Process

The idea of 5S attracts a lot of “window shoppers,” who at first glance, become excited with the idea that they can transform their organization into a clean, organized, well working machine. However, turning their excitement into execution, is often times a challenge they are not prepared for.

For many organizations, the challenge or lack of enthusiasm begins to set in after the third S. Once they have cleaned up and organized their facility, they feel their work is done. Workers are happy and have a sense of accomplishment that they were able to implement something “new.” This flawed thought process is ultimately what leads to a failed implementation of 5S. Which will eventually lead to a negative attitude towards the process and a culture that no longer sees it as a valuable asset to their organization.

The path to a 5s behavior changeFor those that may not know…

The 5S System:

Sort: Eliminate all the things in the workplace that are not being used and store them away.

Set in Order: Arrange the items used on a daily basis so that they can be easily accessed and quickly stored.

Shine: Ensure everything is cleaned and functioning properly.

Standardize: Develop a routine for sorting, setting, and shinning.

Sustain: Create a culture that follows these steps on a daily basis.

5S is about commitment

When working through the 5S process, you have to remember that in fact it is a process, not an ideology that can be improvised. Success with 5S, comes when you follow through with the process and spend the extra energy needed on the last two S’s to ensure success for the long-haul. You may have a clean facility, but it’s short-term. The goal with 5S is to eliminate waste from your organization in all forms including transportation, inventory, motion, waiting, overprocessing, overproduction, and defects, otherwise known as the seven deadly wastes. An initial clean-up may eliminate a few wastes, but without a method to standardize and sustain your efforts, the chances of continuing to eliminate waste, are slim to none. Worse yet, the chances of keeping the waste you originally eliminated away, are also slim.

You have to create a culture that sees the value in committing to the 5S process. Once you’ve worked through the sort, set in order, and shine, you have to define what you expect out of your employers, including their responsibilities and daily schedules. As a whole, your organization needs to determine how much time is needed everyday to ensure your 5S is maintained and a continued focus.

For example, you could establish the following:

  • Before each employee clocks out for their shift, they are to spend 5-7 minutes making sure their work area is clean and in the same (or better) condition that they received it in.
  • Use checklists that clearly explain what is to be cleaned and inspected. Include details that explain how it is supposed to be cleaned and inspected, as well as who is to do it and how often it is to be done.

This is part of the standardization process that is essential moving forward in your 5S development. You should also make your employees accountable by posting the 5S scores in the work areas. This will allow them to be reviewed by others so they can look for continuous improvement opportunities and see what they need to improve on first hand. This form of auditing should be included in your standardization process as well.


Sustaining your 5S commitment is a collective effort that takes a cultural transformation to ensure it becomes the way things are done in your organization. Without the complete involvement of the organization, waste will continue to find places to hide and make the individuals that are putting the effort, have to work that much harder.

A key to getting everyone on board with your 5S sustainment process, is the example set my upper management. Their efforts do not go unnoticed. Employees will develop habits based off what they see, not what they are told. You can’t sit in an office and send out memos on how to sustain 5S, you have to get on the ground floor and show that your engaged with the process. Upper management should conduct a walk around often and be a part of the audit process so they can include their feedback, as well as hear what others have to say.

To help sustain your efforts on a day-to-day effort, you can also appoint a 5S coordinator, who are essentially volunteers that help to keep consistency, monitor progress, and push the implementation forward.

It’s up to you

5S is about efficiency. Without follow through and commitment, an efficient process is all but impossible. There are no secrets or hidden challenges that come with the process. It is a systematic approach to workplace organization that if done correctly, can make a dramatic change in your organization and culture, for the good.

Free 5S guide

Visual Safety Begins with 5S

Visual-Safety-Begins-with-5SA visual workplace is one that relies on visual cues and communication to operate efficiently and safely. The benefits of visual workplaces include increased quality, productivity, safety and employee morale. Visual controls provide employees with the information they need by answering questions, identifying equipment and describing procedures. They also provide safety information. In order to use visual tools to help employees better contribute to the company, it is best to implement a system known as the 5S Program. The 5S Program was developed in Japan and stands for seiri or tidiness, seiton meaning orderliness, seiso or cleanliness, seiketsu meaning standardization, and shitsuke which means discipline. These words have been redesigned to correspond with similar principles in English. In this case the letters stand for Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.


This step involves sorting through each detail of a work area and removing what is not needed. Materials, equipment, supplies and tools that are not used frequently should be moved to separate areas for storage. Items that are never used should be discarded or recycled. Sorting involves five steps: cleaning, classifying, ownership, red tagging and recycling.

  • Cleaning – It is essential to first clean the work area before attempting to identify unnecessary items. Any dirt, debris or broken equipment should be removed immediately.
  • Classifying – While the area is being cleaned, it is inevitable that different kinds of supplies will be found. These materials will need to be classified into their respective types.
  • Ownership – Once found, some items will need to be returned to the appropriate owners. If the owner it not obvious it may be necessary to ask around.
  • Red Tagging – If items cannot be classified or returned to their owners, they should be red tagged. This process involves marking them so that each item can be evaluated individually.
  • Recycling –  After a set time period, items that have not been claimed should be disposed of or reassigned.

Set and Shine

The focus of the Set step is to create effective storage methods so equipment can be easily found and returned for future use. Storage areas should be marked with labels and frequently used equipment can be stored on shadow boards. On a shadow board, the outline or shadow of the tool is used to identify its position on the board. Once everything has been sorted and organized it must be kept that way. This requires cleaning on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of clutter. The work area should be returned to the condition it was in before the work day. A cleaner work area also makes t easier to detect spills and breakages which could pose safety hazards.

Standardize and Sustain

Free 5S guide and posterStandardizing involves making the previous steps easier to accomplish in the future. By developing a work structure and written standards the new methods of operation will become habitual. As S5 practices become more common they should be updated and modified to improve upon the process each time. Sustaining involves maintaining the results earned from using the program. The program should be practiced on a long-term basis, thus it is a commitment to actively complete all parts of 5S and to prevent workers from reverting back to old habits.

The 5S Program is an inexpensive management approach that focuses on visual order, organization, cleanliness and standardization. It is an essential part of lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing is a production method that focuses on eliminating waste to create value. The many results garnered from implementing this approach include improved profitability, heightened efficiency and better service.

The Path to a 5S Behavior Change

The Path to a 5S Behavior Change

Changing the behavior in an individual is one of the most difficult tasks in our nature. The path to a 5S behavior change is no different. Our built in stubbornness has a tendency to block out even the most obvious benefits associated with a change in behavior. It effects all phases of our life from our health to our occupation. Whether you’re trying to quit smoking or implement 5s, the road The path to a 5s behavior changecan seem extremely narrow at times.

There are several models of behavior change that are studied. One that is commonly used in health settings is the transtheoretical model (TTM). This model assumes that at any given time in the process of behavior change an individual is at one of the following stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, or maintenance. It also addresses an individuals readiness to act on a new behavior which can be extremely helpful when navigating the path to a 5S behavior change.

5S is the foundation of your lean building. More times than not, it’s the first phase of a lean transformation within an organization, which makes the path to a 5S behavior change that much more important. The TTM model might help you and your team get through the path and on the road to the lean transformation you seek.

Change is a process, not an event

  • Precontemplation: Whether it’s a lack of motivation or lack of information, at this stage the employer has no conscious intention of making a change. They use excuses like “I’m only gonna be here a few more years, why change now?” Or “this doesn’t seem like it’s going to benefit anything I do around here so why bother?” This employee tends to disengage themselves from the event itself and would rather not spend the time it takes to educate themselves on the potential benefits 5S has to offer. There is hope for the precontemplator. They need the motivation and awareness to spark their interest. If you can relate the change to their specific interests and show them how a 5S mentality will have a direct benefit on them. For instance, if they can see how they can become more efficient and productive, they might be more willing to get motivated for other possibilities 5S has to offer them.
  • Contemplation: At this stage, the employer has considered the possibility of change, but still have not fully committed to the idea. You might hear “5S seems like a good idea, but I’m comfortable doing things the way we do now.” The employer can see the benefits, but lacks the commitment for action. A helpful tip to get this employer over the hump is to give them a small task that involves the 5S method so that they can see the direct benefit for them and the task. Sometimes when 5S is presented as whole, change over it can be overwhelming. The contemplator sees the possibilities, but has trouble putting them into place. Breaking it down individually with small tasks might be just what the contemplator needs to get over the hump.
  • Preparation: At this stage, the employer knows that the change is immanent, they believe they can do it and are preparing themselves for the change, say in a week or two. They have walked by the 5S station, they’ve read up on the materials, maybe even cleaned up their work area a bit. At this point they just need that extra nudge to fully engage themselves in the action. This should not take as much effort has in previous steps, but still needs a bit of a nudge to take action. The confidence is there, they just need to implement their new knowledge into a working process.
  • Action: They employer is now fully committed and dedicated to change. Their workstation is clean, organized and in order. They are seeing the benefits first hand and have developed regular routines for their actions that directly correlate with the 5S process. At this point it is a good idea to engage with the employee to make sure they are not having any issues or have questions with the process. An employer can quickly go back to their old ways if they can’t get the help they need while taking action.
  • Maintenance: Once your 5S process has been fully integrated and running for awhile you are now in the sustainment phase. This can be extremely difficult for some organizations to handle. As the initial ether wears off, employees can become stagnant and start revert back to their old ways if you back off your plan. Employers need reinforcement and reward for their actions. This reminds them how important 5S is to the organization and reward those who continue to work towards the ultimate goal.

Those who study changes in behavior do agree that sustained change is most likely when it’s self motivated and rooted in positive thinking. Both of which are not the easiest to address in the workplace. Employers all have their own unique way of thinking and reasons for motivation. So how do you create a universal transformation that fills the needs of everyone’s motivation and thinking?

Unfortunately, this seems to be the million dollar question that gets debated over time and time again. While nobody seems to have the one size fits all answer, there are plenty of good tips and methods that certainly help promote a change in behavior. Hopefully this quick insight into the TTM model and how it relates to the 5S process will help you on the path to a 5S behavior change.

The path to 5S can sometimes be a bumpy road. When navigated correctly however, can lead to a successful lean transformation with endless possibilities –Good Luck!











Volunteers and Temps At Risk

Workman falling over a safety barrierEarlier this year, it was an honor to have our parent company, Creative Safety Supply support Habitat for Humanity in their efforts to open a new location in Seminole County, Florida. The floor marking tape Creative Safety Supply provided, enabled the workers at the location to create a safe, organized and pleasant experience for both shoppers and volunteers alike.

With the amount of volunteer organizations and temporary employees  continuing to grow the need for collaborations like this are becoming more important by the day. Anytime you have new or unfamiliar faces in a facility the risk factors increase significantly, causing efficiency to decrease and chances of injury to increase. These are two things any organization can ill-afford to have take place, much less a non-profit. But with companies like Creative Safety Supply, help can be closer than you think.

There are currently 2.7 million temp workers currently employed in the U.S. Overall, almost one-fifth of the total job growth since the recession ended in mid-2009 has been from the temp sector.

Safety First

The first concern for any temporary employee or volunteer is their safety within the facility. Studies show that frequency and severity rates of on-the-job injuries are significantly higher with temporary workers. No matter the employee or volunteer’s experience you can never assume they can come into your facility and be safe without direction.

This is where the simplest, yet still overlooked tools can make a huge difference in the safety of the people and the overall efficiency of the organization. Here are just a few of the tools you can use to improve the safety and efficiency of your event or organization:

Even OSHA has recognized the risks of temp employees. They recently launched an initiative to protect temporary employees from workplace hazards. OSHA had received numerous reports of temporary workers suffering fatal injuries during the first days on the job and is hoping to put a stop to the trend as soon as possible. In most of the cases OSHA found that the employer had failed to provide safety training or inadequately addressed hazards in the workplace.

ProPublica cited similar information stating that temp workers in construction and manufacturing were twice as likely to be injured as regular staff doing the same work.

Reach Out

Many organizations simply don’t know where to start when it comes to designing labels or safety signage. This is another added benefit to teaming up with someone like Creative Safety Supply. Not only to they have a proven track record helping non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Oregon Food Bank, various schools and festivals, but also with hundreds of organizations, designing safety tools for all.

Having a professional handle your safety needs can help alleviate the stress from your staff, but also ensure that the quality and design will be just what you need to help any temp or volunteer remain safe and informed at all times.

From your most basic ideas to your most complex messages, safety should always be a priority. Whether it’s a enter/exit sign, to directing traffic in a specific direction, to important safety information, to communicating crucial messages to staff, every aspect of your safety process should be taken seriously.

The second most frequently cited violation by OSHA is hazard communication failure (a.k.a. -lack of safety signage). It also their ninth highest penalty offense, which isn’t cheap. Fines for serious offenses can reach up to $7,000 and for repeat violations, up to $70,000.

For example, Bacardi Bottling Corp. was cited by OSHA for 12 alleged safety violations following the death of a 21-year-old temporary worker in August, 2012. The proposed fines totaled $192,000 for the various safety violations (Bacardi is currently challenging the fines).

A worker’s first day at work shouldn’t be his last day on earth. Employers are responsible for ensuring the safe conditions of all their employees, including those who are temporary.

Dr. David Michaels- Asssistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA


Moving Forward

Don’t wait until it’s to late to ensure the safety of everyone in your organization, whether they’re a temp, volunteer, or a seasoned employee. If you’re an event planner or the head of a major organization, the benefits of visual safety tools are endless.Don’t be another OSHA statistic and take the initiative towards a safer workplace for all today.

Creative Safety Supply would love to hear about an upcoming event you’re planning. If you’re a non-profit organization and would like assistance in planning or need help with materials, reach out today to see what they can do to help.


Top 5 Tips for 5S Success

Implementing lean strategies in any company is difficult, but it is something that most companies agree is worth doing. The problem is when companies do it improperly, the implementation fails and they end up losing out on the time and money invested. This can be discouraging for everyone involved at every level, and it can also make it more difficult for future attempts at change and improvement in a facility. Looking at the following five tips for 5s success will help any facility get on their way to a successful implementation.

Require Management to Set a Strong 5S Example

When employees are told they are supposed to follow the 5S standards which have been laid out for them, only to find that their managers are not doing the same it can be very discouraging. The leadership team should always be the examples which other people can follow, not a source of trouble for the lean team. Managers at every level should be required to have clean, organized desks and also enforce the same on their teams throughout the company.

Clear Expectations for a 5s Workspace

Using visual examples of what a good 5s workplace will look like is a great way to ensure people know what is expected of them. Taking before and after photos of an area which was organized by a 5S expert is a great way to start this process. Make sure to clearly show everyone not only what it should look like, but also why it is so important.

5S-guide-and-posterAdd 5S Recognition

Most companies have some sort of employee recognition program in place already. Adding recognition for 5S specific things is a great way to not only show appreciation, but also encourage people to follow the standards. Recognizing excellence in this area is much more effective than attempting to force people to follow the 5s standards of a specific facility.

Create an Implementation Plan with Milestones

Implementation can be a difficult time for any 5s strategy which is why it should be properly planned out. Having a written plan with set milestones is the best way to get the results you’re looking for. When the plan is written and easy to understand it is much easier for everyone at all levels to follow properly. While creating the plan make sure to include all the key teams which will be needed during the implementation process so they can give their input and have a good understanding of how everything works throughout the process.

Continuous Improvement

Once the initial implementation of the 5s strategies have been put in place, encourage everyone to be constantly on the lookout for things that can be improved. Even a well implemented 5s strategy can get old and out of date without ongoing improvement. This improvement should be prompted by not only the lean team or the management staff, but also by the value-adding employees. They are in a position to see exactly what types of things are working well and which ones could be improved upon.


Gaining Management’s Support for 5S

In facilities across the country and around the world people learn about 5S through their own research, attending conferences or educational courses. Once they’ve heard about all the benefits this system has to offer, they want to implement it in their own facility.

When they present it to the management team, however, it often gets overlooked or ignored by those who need to give it their approval. Unless it is presented properly, 5S can seem like an expense without sufficient benefit to many people in management.

5S-guide-and-posterIt is, however, possible to present the 5S system in a way which allows management to see the benefits both in the short term and the long term. Ideally you could give them a full presentation or send them to a 5S conference where the entire concept could be properly explained.

In most cases, however, that is not possible because it would take too much time. Looking at some of the following ideas will help you present 5S in just a few minutes. These ideas will get the attention of management and help you to get their full approval.

Ideas for Gaining Management’s Support

  • Find a Key Supporter – Many people make the mistake of presenting 5S to an entire management team at once. Instead, see if you can figure out which individual is most likely to see the benefits. Win this person over and you can use their influence to get the rest of the management team to give it their attention as well.
  • Present the Savings – Management is typically concerned with the bottom line and little else. If you present the savings and increased productivity from a well-planned 5S system, management is much more likely to give it serious consideration.
  • Start Small – Don’t try to convince people that this system will change the way the facility works overnight. Seek approval for a single Kaizen event in one small area of the company. Use those results to seek additional approval.
  • Use Data – Many managers are data driven, so provide them with the data from other companies in the industry which have already implemented 5S strategies. This will not only appeal to their data driven mind, but also show them that the competition is a step ahead. This will likely cause them to take note of the presentation.
  • Make it a Requirement – In some cases it will be possible to work with upper management to make 5S initiatives a requirement for their performance reviews. This is a sure fire way to get these systems up and running quickly.
  • Tour the Facility – Set up a tour of the facility with the management team. Have key individuals in each area there to explain the benefits they could enjoy from 5S strategies.

These are just a few of the many different ways in which it is possible to gain management’s support for 5S. Remember, it is not a battle between you and management. Everyone has the best interests of the facility, so your job is to simply get the management team to see how these concepts will benefit the facility in the long and short term.

For some ideas on how Lean and Kaizen supplies might help you in your work environment, we encourage you to visit Free Lean Guides. Browse through the products there and see if you don’t come up with some ideas or rather, some products, that might be helpful to you in your lean journey.

Setting up an Effective 5S System

Most organizations will recognize the value of 5S concepts when they hear about them, but in many cases they don’t know how to properly set a system up in their company.  When done improperly it can actually cause more problems than solutions which is why it is essential to take the time to plan out an effective 5s system before taking any action.  The following steps will help any company get started on the right footing when it comes to 5S systems.

  • Treat it As a System – One of the most important things to understand about 5S is that it is indeed a system.  It is not a single event or one time program which can be completed, but rather an ongoing system which should change the way work is done in any company.  The system will grow and change over time, but always guided by the 5S concepts and principals which will help to avoid waste in a company and increase the profits.
  • Create a 5S Design Team – Setting up a company with a 5S system is one of the most important steps to ensure its success.  It should never be allowed to just organically happen because that will result getting poor results and a disappointing system.  Instead, form a design team which will focus on bringing every department working together to accomplish the same goals.  A 5S implementation or design team will help to ensure the success of this strategy.
  • Take the Time Needed for 5S – When many companies begin to implement a 5S program they get a lot of pushback from individuals throughout the organization.  Comments like, “Do you want us to do the work or do 5S, we can’t do both” are very common at this beginning phase.  Explaining that a good 5S strategy will save far more time than it takes to plan and implement, and those savings are continuous whereas the bulk of the planning and implementation only occurs once.  Using the time that is saved by following 5S strategies to further develop the 5S system is a great way to ensure both the work and the planning are done right.
  • Spend Time on Standardizing – The 4th “S” in 5S is for standardizing and it is essential.  While many companies spend time on the first three “S’s” which are sort, set in order and shine.  These three focus on improving the way things are done, but without standardization it is almost impossible to maintain the progress which has been made from the first three.  Standardization is the engine that keeps the 5S systems running for years on end.
  • Sustained Effort – In many cases there will be a lot of effort put into the 5S system right at first, and companies will see a lot of success.  The problems begin to pop up when companies feel like they’ve gotten the success they want and no longer put in the effort to sustain their achievements.  When companies stop improving, they start moving backwards which can result in major problems.  Plan out how to sustain the efforts put into the process from the beginning so your company does not fall into this trap.

If you are looking for help in discovering and following the path of 5s, you can find informative training, guides and more here: 5S Training and Supplies

Global 5S Management

As the 5S standards continue to be adopted by companies around the world it is clear that the benefits from this methodology are extremely effective.  In many cases the facilities that implement the strategies from the 5S system are either stand along facilities or work in a fairly close geographic area. 

This makes it very easy to seamlessly get everyone on the same page in terms of how the standards are implemented.  If, however, you’re responsible for a global 5S management there are some additional challenges.  Fortunately, there are also some very effective solutions to these types of problems.

Color Standards in Global 5S Management

One of the most effective ways to implement the 5S strategies in a company which has facilities around the world is to use the standard color coding for different situations.  If you’re attempting to indicate that a particular item is hazardous, for example, you could have the internationally recognized color of red for danger.  Most people will immediately recognize that, even if they can’t read the actual words which are on the label.

When running international facilities you can create any color coded scheme you desire, though there are already standards in place which are recommended by many 5S experts.  When you use the same color coding throughout every facility it will ensure people are as safe as possible in any environment. 

Many facilities will have people who travel from one place to another working in the area.  With this standardization throughout a global company it is possible to ensure everyone is aware of what a label means, even if they can’t read the exact words.

Global 5S Management – Standards Beyond Your Own Company

Another benefit of using global 5S management standards is that you can be confident that other facilities outside of your own company will be using the same color coding.  This means that if you hire someone from another company they will be aware of the meaning of the different labeling options you are using in your facility.  This is not only going to save time and money on training, but it will help new people to function safely from their very first day.

Other Global 5S Management Strategies

The color coded labels are an easy example to use when discussing any type of global standards which you want to put in place, but there are many others as well.  Whenever planning your 5S implementation it is a good idea to take a moment to see how you can implement the change in a way which will ensure global compliance. 

Finding as many ways to do things the same way at every facility in any country will help ensure acceptance and compliance with the standard and can even save money by allowing a company to buy the materials needed in bigger bulk.

As the 5S standards continue to grow in popularity and effectiveness it is essential to ensure that people are looking at the big picture during implementation.  If one company is following a set standard throughout its global footprint, that is great.  If dozens or even hundreds begin following the same types of safety standards around the world, then that can be an industry game changer.

Decluttering Your Workspace With 5S

Lean, Kaizen and 5S are not just for manufacturers

Cluttered Cubicles Go Lean With 5S Rules5S can create some hard divides between those who love and appreciate the peace and calm that order bring and those who, while not necessarily “loving” chaos and disorder, still feel more at home amidst piles of paper, missing tools such as staplers and rulers, etc.

The following video is an example of how many employees might feel when the corporate leadership decides that everyone must accept the new business philosophy of the day for their workplace – 5S.

Kyocera has dictated that their employees MUST clean up their act and implement the new 5S standards within their cubicle space. It’s a love-hate relationship, as you will see in the video:

Cluttered Cubicles Go Lean With 5S Rules
See how employees at Kyocera’s North American headquarters in San Diego declutter their cubicles by following a workplace organization practice known as 5S. WSJ’s Julie Jargon reports. (Oct. 26)

What do you think? How would YOU handle the dictates at work to suddenly bring order into the chaos of your own cubicle?

Would you like it? Would you comply? Or would you still persist with old, perhaps unproductive habits as were depicted int he video? Let us know below by writing down and sending us your thoughts.