Global 5S Management

As the 5S standards continue to be adopted by companies around the world it is clear that the benefits from this strategy are extremely effective.  In many cases the facilities that implement the methodology 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.

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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+