5S Tips & tricks
Last update: April 16th, 2010
5S usually begins with a great initial cleaning, where sorting out the items is a highlight. For each item, it must be stated if it is useful, useless or undetermined. For some items, the statement may be touchy, as nobody seems to know if they are really useful or not, and what is their frequency of use.
Start with easiest!
Difficulty should be no excuse, go for it, starting with easiest:
The two first categories never make problem as their status is clear. Dispose immediately useless items, because they just jamming the workspace, lead to loss of time, confusion and poor quality. For items in balance, for those their "utility grade" and/or frequency of use is unclear, they can be kept with monitoring during a probation time..
After probation period, reconsider each item's grade of use (or uselessness) with the collected data.
To measure the usage and frequency of use rate, there is a convenient method called "tag method". Each item on probation is set with a tag (flashy color preferred), on which users will write:
After probation time (month, quarter, semester, year) take data from tags. Items having no data on their tag are declared useless and will be disposed. If probation period was not long enough to be significant, a new probation can be decided.
ABC sorting method is based on the storage distance versus frequency of use.
Therefore, set 3 classes A = to be kept at hand, B = to be stored closely (work zone, within workshop, office, in the same room...) and C = remote place (Archives, shack, long storage...) and store the items according to following logic:
1) Do not excuse keeping useless or few used items with "probation"!
2) Monitoring or probation period must be chosen in a significant period of time.
Monitoring in high season period (red zone on figure) could lead to misjudge grade of use and frequency for some items.
measure of frequency of use in time
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