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5S for the Office – Examples II

April 1, 2010


As promised, here are a few more examples of 5S for the office (see previous post from March 30, 2010). These ideas came from real 5S office events that I facilitated. They may seem simple, but each one definitely made an improvement for the area. The key here is continuous improvement. If you see something here that you can use or build-on, that’s great. Pay it forward and share some of your examples. That’s one thing I really like about being part of the Lean community is the willingness of people to share information and best practices. Let’s keep it up!

One Good Idea – “Stoplight” Files

Problem – People were using file folders with blue prints and other technical information that may be old, obsolete or in draft stage.  This caused massive problems if people used the wrong files for production or other activities
Solution –  They came up with a color-coding system for files:
     Red = old, obsolete, do not use for production
     Yellow = draft, not approved, changes being made
     Green = good to go

"Stoplight" files

Benefits –  There were no more mistakes related to which files to use and easier to find.

Their next step was to make them available electronically.

One Good Idea – Four-hour Filing

Problem – In an accounting department a person spent fours hours a week to file checks by supplier name “just-in-case” they needed to look at them again someday (maybe once or twice per quarter)
Solution – After verifying with their auditor, they now file by check number> If a check needs to be recalled, they look up the check number on the computer and then find it in the file.

Save time filing

Benefits – Saves almost four hours per week

One Good Idea – Printer Problems

Problem – For office equipment it was hard to determine a contact person when there is a problem, replenishment supplies are needed, etc.
Solution – Labeled equipment with important information

Useful printer information, right on the printer!

Benefits – Anyone would know who to contact if there were issues

One Good Idea – Job Jackets

Problem – Work “jackets” were disorganized and sometimes “lost”. It was hard to tell what to work on next.
Solution – Organized area using 5S and Visual controls

Reduce backlog and visually manage work with 5S!

Benefits – Eliminated backlog and reduced stress

Please let me know what you think. If you have a “One Good Idea” to share, send it along.

Thanks – Tony

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