With the new approach being adopted across the business LB Bentley are looking forward to a brighter future by introducing the 5S ethos that will enhance our current working practices.
When looking at ways to improve working practices 5S relates to workplace organisation and forms a solid foundation upon which many organisations base their drive for Continuous Improvement.
When fully adopted 5S is a systematic and methodical approach allowing teams take ownership to organise their workplace in the safest and most efficient manner. It is an approach that focuses on establishing visual order, cleanliness, standardisation and organisation. The 5S principles are:
- Sort – clean-up and organise
- Set-in-order – arrange everything in the work area
- Shine – regular cleaning and maintenance
- Standardise – make the work place easy to maintain, simplify and standardise
- Sustain – maintain what has been accomplished
The initial stage in the roll-out of 5S is encouraging each team to remove all unnecessary items from their workplace. What is left is then placed in a permanent location which is prioritised and optimised for – how, where and at what frequency the item will be used.
A policy of inspecting and repairing equipment as part of a cleaning regime is then adopted with the entire process being managed by continuous assessment by the teams carrying out audits on themselves and suggesting improvements through self-assessment.
A significant part of the ‘workplace organisation’ process involves the use of visual management where everything that takes place within the workplace should be easily understood by everyone, including strangers to the process. As part of this visual management fundamentals such as clear signage, PPE requirements, clearly marked areas, etc. should be adopted, this along with the 5S principles will ensure that the added benefit of increased safety is applied, known as 5S+Safety or 6S.
Adopting the 5S approach is not just a solid foundation on which to build Continuous Improvement, but it delivers a number of very tangible benefits such as:
- Delivering improved Safety
- Improving Performance – Productivity, quality and profitability
- Delivers a reduction in waste – getting things right first-time approach
- It gives employees a sense of ownership and a desire to improve their work place
By adopting this positive approach LB Bentley are confident that we can build on our strengths and step forward in to the future by continually improving on the delivery of the best quality of products and service to our customers.
The article above has been published in Issue 46 of the ‘Valve User Magazine’ a BVAA publication.