As I mentioned in the first introductory post, 5S is one of the best methodologies to organize our workspace. It has five steps. In the first one, we need to get rid of all the things that are not used at the location. Here, in the second one, I will tell you how to organize those things in an efficient manner.
In my case, I carried out steps 1 and 2 in parallel, which is a very common way to do it. Specifically, in this second step we apply the concept: “every item in its place and a (specific) place for each item”. Following this step is extremely important for several reasons:
- If something (a tool or spare part) does not have a specific location assigned, we will not be able to determine if it is in the wrong place or not.
- It takes less time to put everything back in its place.
- We can easily and quickly find the things we need.
As I stated before, in this step we need to organize all elements. There are many ways of organizing the space. As a general guideline you should consider:
- Assign locations and store things in the best possible way, using some of the techniques mentioned below.
- The resulting organization should facilitate people’s job, control of items, order, and cleaning activities.
- Try to make the process as graphical as possible, using pictures and short procedures.
- Communicate not only the new locations and way of doing things but also the improvements achieved.
I will mention the most useful tools for organizing the workspace. I will not explain them in this post, but I will dedicate a complete article to them in the future.
Storage labeling; for example, I bought some plastic trays to put inside the cabinets and to organize spare parts. I labeled the trays and also put the same labels in the shelves so they can be put back in place easily.
- Floor layouts
- Photo locators
- Shaded boards and shelves
- Storage locations based on frequency of use
- Spaghetti maps
If you need new shelves, work tables, or other furniture try to get them in advance or be sure that they are available on short notice. In my case, I bought new cabinets and work tables in advance and waited until they arrived to start with the whole process. I did this since I think it is more effective if we implement the methodology without interruptions and waiting periods, which I mentioned in the introductory post.
What about your workplace? Is it efficiently organized? Do you think that your employees can work comfortable? Do you use other tools to organise the workplace?
Share your experience with me and other readers!
Thanks for reading!