Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

LEAN 5S Warehouse Management — How to Achieve & Maintain It

Posted by Neil O'Connell, SVP Technology, Innovation, & Product Development on Jan 24, 2019 4:04:00 AM

Old habits are sometimes hard to break. But there are steps you can take to ensure managers and workers continue to support LEAN 5s initiates even after initial goals are achieved.  business-3189797_640

Perhaps you have started 2019 with new LEAN 5S plan in place. The question is: how do you keep up that momentum long-term? What will be the biggest challenges to newly realized efficiency? 

Essentially, after your team starts to see the positive results from LEAN management and has celebrated success, it is very important to standardize and systematize the process changes. Doing this helps prevent employees from reverting back to old, time-wasting habits. 

Why create LEAN 5S strategies? 

The 5S methodology is comprised of easy-to-remember steps (sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain). LEAN initiatives that target common wastes not only save valuable time and resources, they can also improve safety. When LEAN measures and safety are integrated, organizations can begin to see more streamlined product delivery and lower operational costs. 

It can: 

  • Limit unnecessary movement – Process changes can decrease the risk of injuries through repetitive motion. 
  • Decrease extra inventory – Reducing inventory decreases injuries from handling and trip hazards and maximizes space for safe building exits. 
  • Decrease waiting – Time is no longer wasted due to poorly designed processes and workflow systems. 
  • Reduce excessive product transportation – The reduction of unnecessary movement of people and product reduces the risk of slips and falls and improves safety and workflow 
  • Regulate over-processing – Removal of extra steps in the process prevents work-arounds and can reduce the risk of unidentified hazards. 

How to keep your 5S momentum 

There are two basic steps that help to successfully sustain a LEAN 5S management process. 

1.  Use real-time data to show successes to employees. 

Change can be hard. Knowing they are making a difference, and that management recognizes it, encourages continual participation. Back up progress with telematic data, which can provide a baseline, metrics that show improvements along the way, and exactly when goals are realized. Telematics software drills down into the data for actionable information or graphics. 

2.  Standardize and systematize the process changes.

Find what works and make it standard procedure. LEAN 5S management means identifying what is wrong and why, then changing it. It requires that your organization implement this change going forward and doesn’t slip back into old, costly habits. 

Success builds on success 

Today’s telematics platforms simplify information so everyone across your facility understands the value of goals and knows how to achieve them through a LEAN management process. Managers and employees can see how change facilitates improvement, which helps to support a long-term commitment to the 5S plan.

Topics: driver behavior and productivity, Impact CommandPulseDX KPI dashboard, Lean warehousing, Lean 5S, expanding business, goals, value driven strategies, waste stream reduction, lean