Sunday, July 24, 2011

5S An excellent tool : Purity and discipline

I am not going to post anything new in this post. I may get a comment, all earlier posts also the same! This is all about 5s. A practice that improves productivity in an organisation and relationship if implemented at home level. 
We, the people carve for look and feel. Be it a product or place. This exercise (5S) will get you the both. At my home, we are practicing 5s. This actually made us lean and mean, this usage need not be for the organisation only. We enhanced our home "feeling" by this systematic exercise. For us it took about 2 years. 

During the process, we have to convince our old (78year) member to discard his records from the year 1964. Those were very vital for him and trivial for us. He recalled his memory through that records and we never ready to listen to him! Yet, as a member, we convinced him to discard. The selling of 5s to him was a challenge. 
We are not rude or heartless. We took time explaining why this up? We gave respect to his sentiments. Then we explained and he understood, that those records actually attracted insects rather than adding value to his memory. We scanned some of his work and kept it as digital storage. We made him understand, that value is something else that he seek through that records. 

Then, we sorted our home. It took 3 months to reach first phase. We examined (not audited) our sorting. Then we started another level - any purchase should be a result of one removal or scrap or discard. If I have to buy a pant - then I have to discard one of my existing pant. This took 6 months. And we reduced our impulse purchasing. It actually added value. We got more space to move. The entire home got new look without any decorative articles. 
The old photos and frames were one of the very sensitive articles during our sorting. We decided collectively to discard - regardless of its' antique value. This created big debate. There are many right and wrong arguments. But who ever argued for wrong are not ready to keep or protect at their home. They advised us to keep it. We decided that, it (photos) occupies space and no one is interested in looking the photo anymore. The walls become free and nails were unplugged. 
As a poetic view, that left more scare over the wall. It, the nail scare, made us to decide our home painting! We painted our home and now it looks different. There are many interesting incidents. We are now focusing keeping in order. This is challenging and we are doing our best. 

Let me share the process of 5s at an organisation level.

5S is the acronym for five Japanese words, seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke, which signify order, cleanliness, purity and commitment

The 5S philosophy focusses on effective workplace organisation, helps simplify the workplace environment and reduce waste, while improving quality and safety. 

Seiri (sort) means to put things in order. Seiton (systematise) means proper arrangement. Seiso (clean) implies keeping things clean and polished in the workplace. Seiketsu implies purity and focuses on maintaining cleanliness and perpetual cleaning. Shitsuke is commitment. 

This is a typical teaching and attitude towards any undertaking to inspire pride and adherence to standards established for the four components. 

The principles underlying a 5S programme appear to be common sense -- and they are. But until the advent of 5S, many businesses ignored these basic principles. There is an order and logic to how 5S is carried out, which is: 

1. Seiri or sorting

Seiri means sorting through everything in each work area. It requires keeping only what is necessary. 

Materials, tools, equipment and supplies that are not frequently used should be moved to a separate, common storage area. Items that are never used should be discarded. This makes it easier to find the things needed and frees up additional space. 

"Tagging" items is a common approach when deciding what is to be thrown away. An area is targeted; items likely to be disposed off are tagged with a red tag and a date. If the item is not used after a certain period of time, say, between one and six months, it is disposed of. Practising seiri at Sona Koyo, for instance, led to the freeing up of an 8x6 ft by removing unwanted rakes. 

2. Seiton or systematise 

This is the next step. It requires organising, arranging and identifying everything in a work area for efficient retrieval and return to its proper place. 

Commonly used tools are readily available; storage areas, cabinets and shelves are properly labelled; floors are cleaned and painted to make it easier to spot dirt, waste materials and dropped parts and tools; spaces are outlined on the floor to identify work areas, movement lanes, storage areas, finished product areas and so on; and shadows are drawn on the tool boards, making it easy to quickly see where each tool belongs. 

In an office, bookshelves are provided for frequently-used manuals, books and catalogues. 

There are two important parts to systematic organisation -- putting everything in its proper place and setting up a system so that it is easy to return each item to its proper place. The second part is where labelling and identification practices are important. 

3. Seiso or shining 

Once everything from each individual work area to the entire facility is sorted and organised, it needs to be kept that way. 

Regular cleaning and inspection makes it easy to spot lubricant leaks, equipment misalignment, breakage, missing tools and low levels of supplies. When done on a regular, frequent basis, cleaning and inspecting does not take a lot of time and, in the long run, actually saves times. 

4. Seiketsu or standardise 

Seiketsu ensures that the first three steps of the 5S programme continue to be effective. The good practices developed in the first three steps need to be standardised. 

Therefore, organisations must develop a work structure that will support the new practices and turn them into habits. 

5. Shitsuke or self-discipline 

This implies continuous training and maintenance of standards. The organisation must build a formal system for monitoring the results of the programme. A follow-up is a must for the above four steps to continue to be practise. 

There will have to be continuous education about maintaining standards. When there are changes that will affect the 5S programme -- such as new equipment, new products or new work rules -- it is essential to make changes in the standards and provide training. 

A good way to continue educating employees and maintaining standards is to use 5S posters and signs. 

We, at helikx, now encouraging home 5s and we simplified the entire operation. We are ready to share with "interested". 

Just mail us or call 98427 33318 

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