Saturday, December 28, 2019

The 5 Minute 5S

Lets face it - no-one wants to tackle 5S for their own closet. I mean seriously, there is so much emotion around those clothes we don't wear. You best friend gave you that ugly sweater. You had so much fun at the party in that suit. That sport jacket brings so many good memories. And you've vowed to fit into those pants again one day.

But if you are anything like me, your closet is full of stuff that you don't wear any more. So full, you've taken to stacking your clothes on the dresser? Or the treadmill?

Here's a quick fix.

Keep reading ...


Wednesday, January 30, 2019


I'm not here to lie to you. Seriously.

Most companies don't do 5S properly. They don't understand what it is.

And it's not their fault.

If you search on line, or pick up any book about 5S, it will explain all the steps. They are quite simple and seem logical. And when you walk through the steps, you'll likely come to the same conclusion most people do. 5S is about organization of the workplace. That sounds a lot like a housekeeping system. And that's what many companies use it for.

But that's not the intent. It never was. And that's why most people who try 5S fail. It is misapplied.

Here's the dirty secret about 5S: Trainers don't really need to know anything about lean to teach 5S. Companies are usually quite satisfied with the progress and the program, because of the big visual changes that happen quickly.

However, there is a 98% failure rate within 3 years of implementation. Habits do not change and people return to the way they did things before.

That's why managers say they have done 5S before. Sometimes many times.

That's sad.

The simple truth is that most people don't understand why things are marked off in their work area? Why the lines on the floor? Why is this bin in this set location, instead of over there where I had it before? Why must my tools be on a shadow board instead of safely locked in my toolbox?

Do you think people are compelled to follow your 5S rules just because you send the '5S police' to audit them?

You've probably heard of a level 3 5S before? It usually takes about 3-6 months to reach a level 3 5S.

But your consultant trainer likely didn't understand or adequately communicate the organization change that takes place to reach level 3.

Or, to be honest and frank, the company didn't care. "We just want a 5S system in place, we don't want to do lean".

So it doesn't stick.

At level 1, you are learning the principles. You learn basic housekeeping. You clean up to discover the flow in the workplace.

Most 5S implementations never make it past level 1.

Yet I'm betting their audit scorecard says 90+

Get the 5S Playbook and discover 5S done right.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Get started in 15 minutes and deliver results quickly

Many folks say they have heard about 5S. But some are confused about what it's really about and how they could benefit from it. Not to worry - here are just a few quick questions that may indicate 5S could be helpful for you, save you some time and even some money.

Are you frustrated with the time you spend time looking for, or waiting for, tools, equipment or information? Does this happen more than once per day?

Are you tired of the sore feet at the end of the day with all that walking? To the coffee machine, the photocopier, the printer, delivering reports, getting supplies?

Are you surprised that you constantly rush in parts or supplies?

Are you upset that work backs up in one department or in someone's inbox?

Are you disturbed that it takes more time or the quality of work depends on who you ask to do the task?

Are you worried about doing something just because you have nothing else to do? Like making kits or folding boxes - even though there are no orders for them?

Do you put work aside in piles, so you can "batch them" to be "more efficient"?

Do you notice employees just standing around? Are they waiting for a step in the process to be completed before they can do their part? Are they waiting for materials to arrive? Are they waiting for clarification on their next step?

Could you relate to one or two of these examples? More? I've discovered that in many workplaces, we just accept what's going on because "that's how we do things around here". What's even worse is when folks start to think "making that kind of change is above my pay grade".

You may be surprised and excited to discover a quick, 15 minute, do-it-yourself tool that I've used with clients to quickly point to areas that need attention or fine tuning. Most folks who try it say "Wow, Norm, that this was a real eye opener" for them and their workplaces. 

Register to getstarted right away with this quick, 15 minute, do-it-yourself tool.


Monday, January 14, 2019

The Guide To Successful 5S Implementation

When I was first introduced to the 5S system, I thought "this is pretty lame". What a convoluted process for workplace cleaning!

The more companies I visit, the more I see this thought reinforced. Managers tell me they have done 5S ... many times. They say they have effective visual management systems in place and TPM is running well. Yet, when I walk through the plant, I see little evidence of managing visually. When I ask about signals, check sheets and standard work instructions I get the "deer in the headlight" stare.

In many lean implementations, the leaders try to implement more complex visual systems, like kanban, flow lanes, or production boards, when the discipline of 5S is not in place. After all, that's the fun part of lean!

But you have to learn to walk before you can run.

After several of these struggles as a manager and a few years as a consultant, I came to realize the true power of the 5S system.

5S is not about housekeeping. It is not just keeping the workplace organized.

Click here to discover the true power of 5S, and more importantly, how to IMPLEMENT this system in your organiation.

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