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“Improvement usually means doing something that we have never done before.” – Shigeo Shingo

We were facilitating a 5S Event in a customer service area of a carton manufacturer and noticed something special during the first “S” Sort. The team was sorting through items in the area and affixing 5S Red Tags to them. The 5S Red Tags were pre-printed with string already attached to the tag. When in a factory, it is easy to use pre-wired 5S Red Tags for unneeded items. That is probably the most common method. What we noticed while in the office is that the team members were using masking tape to attach the tags to the items like boxes, files, cabinets, prototypes and so on.

After the event Jennifer, from 5S Supply said “Why can’t we just have a Post-it™ Note style 5S Red Tag?” That’s how the 5S Sticky Tag got started. When you think of kaizen (continuous improvement), this is a great example. Jennifer saw a way to improve something and then it was implemented. While creating the sample tag the team decided to add other features to make it even easier to use and fill out. The team tried the tag out in many conditions and found that it would stick to any surface that a super-sticky Post-it™ note would. They also decided that check boxes would speed up filling out the tag and help categorize the reason for tagging and disposition. Two check boxes were added specifically because of our work in hospitals implementing Lean – recycle (as part of being “Green”) and shred (in case it has confidential information on it). Because they are peel & stick, it will speed up your red tagging process. To make it convenient, the team decided to package the 5S Sticky Tags in two packs of 50 for 100 tags total per pack. Since first offering these revolutionary tags in 2009 we haven’t rested on our laurels. As part of kaizen, we now offer an even stickier tag. The team also came up with a tagline (no pun intended) to help describe what they thought 5S Red Tagging could do – “Changing the World, one tag at a time.” This may seem amusing but when you think of it, kaizen is about little changes over time for the better.

So as part of our 4th Anniversary month this August, we are offering a Free Sample Pack of our tags with any order. Just add the product Tag Sample Pack TGR-000 to your order – no charge. One sample pack per customer please.

This is a very special occasion for us at 5S Supply. August is our fourth anniversary and we are pleased to announce that we have added more than 250 new items to our website www.5Ssupply.com!

So the quote I have chosen for this week speaks very dearly to me.

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost

As you can tell from my blog postings or if you have seen me give a presentation, I am very passionate about Lean. One of the reasons I have a devotion to Lean is because it is about making things easier. So to practice what we preach, we made our 5S Supply website easier to find the items you need and to order them.

This expansion in our catalog may seem new to you, but we knew that this day would come from our Hoshin planning that started over three years ago. We took time to find unique and innovative products and organize them in a way that would make it easy for a Lean practitioner or a Purchasing Agent to find what they are looking for by Category or by Subject.

Another feature that we have added is “How-to” videos, product videos and interviews too. We will continue to add more as we progress. Please take a look at my birthday message – 5S Supply’s 4th Anniversary.

Let us know what you think. Is there something you would like to see on our site that we don’t already have? Is there something you wish a Lean site would provide? Let us know, we want to make your Lean experience better. As with all these changes, we changed our Mission Statement –

To help organizations on their Lean journey.


We started with something longer and then we realized that why not make is Lean – clear, concise and to-the-point. We also updated our logo to include the word Lean as we expand far beyond 5S. In order to capture the spirit of this our motto is now

“Lean Simplified. Everything you need, all in one place.”

So please join us in our celebration as we will be making special announcements all month long.

Thank you for your support and may we continue to help you with your Lean initiatives. – Tony