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Monday Morning Message on Lean – July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010


I thought it would be nice to reference something close to one of our founding fathers as we are just coming off our Fourth of July celebration.

Benjamin Franklin

Quick note: I have a problem with using this quote today because I found at least three other authors credited for creating it. I’ll go with Benjamin Franklin for our purposes.

“A place for everything, everything in its place.” – Benjamin Franklin

Well, you all know we use that saying as part of any good 5S program for the second “S” Set-in-Order. Could this have come from Dr. Franklin’s earlier years when he was working in his print shop? He must have realized that it saves time (and therefore money) to be able to find the right items quickly and to keep things orderly.

We all think of Benjamin Franklin as being a wise man. So how come 250 years later we still struggle to get this right? Set-in-Order shouldn’t be that hard, but for some people and organizations it is. Here are some ways to make it a little better:

  • Get the people involved that use the items to help organize them. This way they have a sense of ownership because they helped create the system.
  • Make it easy to find items and easy to put away. Find the best location for items. Sometime this means having them in more than one place to be convenient.
  • Use visual controls like signs, lines, labels and color-coding to help easily locate items, even when they are missing.
  • Lead by example; practice what you preach by organizing your items and keeping them that way. If your work area is a mess it is hard to convince other people to organize theirs.
  • Only put in the level of control needed. Do not over-control or over-control. Remember to keep it easy and simple.

 Here’s one more quote from Benjamin Franklin as I get back to work –

 “Well done is better than well said.”

 I hope you had a great, happy and safe holiday! – Tony

P.S. July is dedicated to the Visual Workplace at 5S Supply this month. Check it out.

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One Response to “Monday Morning Message on Lean – July 5, 2010”


  1. Nice post. I think the last one is very important, regarding level of control. Many people get caught up in the minutia of 5S when sometimes we should just step back and ask ourselves what is critical to the customer and what isn’t.


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