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.

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Antonio Ferraro

On behalf of Creative Safety Supply based in Portland, OR, I strive to provide helpful information to create safer and more efficient industrial work environments. My knowledge base focuses primarily on practices such as 5S, Six Sigma, Kaizen, and the Lean mindset. I believe in being proactive and that for positive change to happen, we must be willing to be transparent and actively seek out areas in need of improvement. An organized, safe, and well-planned work space leads to increased productivity, quality products and happier workplace. Connect with Antonio on Google+