Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Revise & Improve Warehouse Operations & LEAN 5S Practices

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Jan 30, 2018 12:00:00 AM

Is it time to re-evaluate your LEAN 5S practices and revise what has not delivered results? If improvement has stalled or old habits have returned to your warehouse, the answer is yes. blog_img_2.png

What’s your first step? Pinpoint what worked and what didn’t work in your LEAN 5S plan. These plans must be revisited and revised. Solutions must evolve to fit the changing needs of your facility and its employees.

Ask yourself key questions.

  • Did you see results or did the practices go stale after a few months?
  • Are you now realizing the benefits of higher-quality promotion of safety and lower-cost maintenance?
  • Did some teams get results while others did not?

As with any great plan, your LEAN 5S should be a fluid work in progress.

Re-evaluate LEAN 5S practices

5S is comprised of easy-to-remember steps. Each step plays an intricate role in a facility's ability to successfully sustain the 5S processes: sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain.

To re-evaluate your plan, bring your teams together and review which practices had sustainable success and which ones allowed for old habits creep back in. 

Here’s how to make it easier:

  • Use the 5 whys to determine why some practices were successful and why some fell short.
  • Use your baseline data (when you started) and compare this to current reports to determine where improvements were realized. Data will back up theories and show areas with measured improvements. It can also be used to show areas of success to employees.
  • Determine training needs: Do teams need refresher training on the 5S plan, or are there new employees who need standard training?

Telematic data – baseline versus warehouse operations today

The key to knowing how far you have come and what needs work is in your telematic data. Baseline information and metrics can determine the specific areas where improvements occurred.

For example:

  • Safety Report Card – can provide data and metrics on safety checklist pass, impact warnings received, severe speed violations, severe impacts, and stop zone violations
  • Impact Reporting – can provide data and metrics on impact warnings agraph1.pngnd alarms, showing a graphical representation over 7, 30, or 60 days 

Keeping up 5S momentum

After success has been realized and celebrated, two important steps are often forgotten — to standardize and systematize the process changes. These key steps help prevent employees from reverting back to old habits.

This means that management must establish that 5S practices remain, even after initial goals are realized. This requires:

  1. a commitment to continuously monitor and share improvements
  2. revisions to the plan if something isn’t working
  3. training and reminding employees of the ongoing goals and best practices in place to achieve those benchmarks

Telematic data simplifies LEAN warehouse management by monitoring all KPIs and determining why any shortfalls are occurring. Data that proves goals have been reached is also a vital tool in keeping every employee on board with the 5S process.

Topics: data-driven insights, continuous improvement, Lean 5S, connected warehouse solutions, root cause