5S Part 4: Achieving Beyond Standards

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Up until now, each stage of 5S has added a unique feature and habit to the workplace. Step four of 5S – Standardise – builds off all previous steps and is the point where 5S reflects its methodology. Through this stage you will see the culmination of everything you’ve worked towards and what it ultimately means for your business.

Standardise is about creating the standard that your workplace adheres to. This is a set of rules or procedures that are now your bottom line – what is expected to be done. This stage is crucial to the success of 5S, as it results in clear understanding of expectations and ensures each other step of 5S is maintained across your business.

Creating a standard in the workplace is something Signet has been doing for a long time in regards to operating procedures, social connection and manual labour. Though this is common practice, this stage of 5S must be critically focused on to achieve results. Everything from aerosol cans to pallet wrap point has been sorted, set in order, and now shined, so before going any further reflect on what has changed. Create a standard of management, and communicate it across your employees.

Use the standard to create a system of practices – these will vary depending on your workplace, but we have a few tools that Signet has used to standardise practices below:

  • Document what is expected and how things should look (a clear document for easy reference helps whenever someone may be unsure)
  • Use signs and images to make the process easy to follow – like what we did with labelling areas for packaging boxes, bubble wrap, etc.
  • Create a schedule of monitoring – sharing responsibility will create a cross-trained standard.
  • Create a culture of 5S through communication

Communication is a big one for this 5S, and as with any system of standardisation, is integral to the success of this stage.

Regular discussion about procedures leads to workplace culture that greatly benefits from them. Encourage and maintain discussions about 5S, where it’s being applied, and move a culture shift towards efficient practices.

This standardisation sets the bottom line of what it is to be achieved, and by doing so, you have moved workplace practices into a greater, lean model which is now the expectation.

We’re coming up to the final 5S next month, which ultimately is the ongoing practice of each of these 5S stages. At this point you should be able to reflect on all the changes that have happened these past few months and identify the improvements that have occurred throughout the workplace. In the final 5S, we will be looking at Sustain, and what the future for 5S and your business looks like.

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