Little up, everyday

February 28, 2011

“Little up, everyday” was a term used by some of the Toyota sensei’s to try to encourage their trainees that when a challenge looks unbelievably daunting (like a very long staircase), it is easier to think of just trying to get up a few stairs each day. In a way, this is “kaizen” thinking – small improvements over time.

Little up - Hustle up the Hancock

Jennifer Molski and Tony Manos of 5S Supply made it to the top!

With this in mind, I would like to acknowledge Jennifer Molski, Customer Care Manager from 5S Supply as she has completed her eighth “Hustle up the Hancock” on Sunday, February 27, 2011. Each year, more than 4,000 people race to the top of John Hancock Center to raise funds for lung disease research, advocacy and education for the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. The event is a world class stair climb and offers a full 94-flight climb.

This was my first year participating in the climb and the thought of “little up” kept me going all the way to the top. Congratulations to all the climbers on a job well done. – Tony

Hey everybody, we’re trying somethine new here at 5S Supply. You have a choice! Read the post or watch the video – which ever is more convenient for you. Find Things Fast!

Searching is Waste

I remember reading a report years ago that stated people spend on average 28 minutes a day searching for items. What a waste! That’s why 5S (and 5S Supply) can help reduce this frustrating search time. While thinking of this and always trying to enhance our customer’s experience we wanted to improve our website’s search functions. We want you to spend your time in a more productive manner. Here are a couple of ways we have made your search easier and faster.

Browse by Category and Browse by Subject Menus

These drop-down menus are conveniently located in the upper left side of each webpage and stand-out with their red color. Items in these menus are listed group order and alphabetically. “Browse by Category” is helpful for people looking for items that are grouped together like books, DVDs, Tags, Tool Organization and more. The fly-outs will help you find a specific Lean subject. Another way to do a fast search is to use the “Browse by Subject” menu. This is geared for people that know which Lean subject they are interested in and what to see which products we offer in those areas. I’d like to point out that we have conveniently listed items like A3/Problem Solving, Lean Healthcare, Lean Office, Lean Six Sigma, and many more. To help with a quick search the fly-out menus will quickly get you to training kits & forms, software, and other categories. As you can imagine, each menu has the elements of the other for easy cross-references and to make finding things a breeze.

New Search function

Our new search bar in the upper-right of the page has been enhanced to be more intuitive. Its auto-populate feature begins searching as soon as you start typing. It quickly scans our site to match your query. This predicted text module mimics Google (without all the ads) to help you find what you need fast!


So by the time you finish reading this or in the time it took to watch the video, you would have found want you were looking for and able to check out quickly at 5S Supply.

How can we apply these concepts to others area of our work or life? If you have any suggestions for our website please let us know at info@5Ssupply.com or call us at 888 4 LEAN 5S (888-453-2657).

It is important as part of your training program or (TWI program) to have standardized definitions so that everyone has the same level of understanding and uses the same terminology. This list was sent to me and I thought I would share it with you. Enjoy!

Tools Explained

DRILL PRESS:    A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light . Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, ‘Oh sh–!’

SKIL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle… It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

VISE-GRIPS: Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads.  If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a bearing race.

TABLE SAW: A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed your new brake shoes , trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.

BAND SAW: A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you forgot to disconnect.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips
screw heads.

STRAIGHT SCREWDRIVER: A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to make hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

UTILITY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, DVDs, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.

SON-OF-A-B*&%# TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling ‘Son of a B*&%#!’ at the top of your lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you will need.

Hope you found this educational (and fun). – Tony

P.S. If you have some that aren’t on this list, please feel free to add a comment.

Lean and Six Sigma

February 1, 2011

5S Supply is pleased to announce that we are now carrying Lean Six Sigma products. This is a natural extension of our current Lean offerings. Through our real-world experience we recognize the power of combining Lean and Six Sigma and wanted to be a resource for those companies pursuing both.

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Lean Six SigmaLean Six Sigma is combining the best of both methodologies to provide sustainable improvements in the workplace. Many people explain the concept as Lean to increase velocity and Six Sigma to reduce variation. I want to add that many companies are extremely successful using Lean (i.e., Toyota) or focusing on Six Sigma (i.e., GE). There is no requirement that you do both.

I was asked to be a on a conference panel many years ago with a Lean expert, a Master Black Belt and myself as the Lean/Six Sigma presenter. It was a lot of fun fielding questions straight from the audience and having to think on your feet. Before we went out on stage my friend J.R. , the MBB said to me “Tony, you need to do Lean before Six Sigma.” I was a little shocked that this statement would come from a Master Black Belt but I played his game and asked “Why?” He said “Because if you don’t, you’re just perfecting waste!” I’m sure many of you have heard a story similar to that.

Six Sigma had a huge increase in popularity during the 1990’s with help from people like Jack Welch and GE. It was one of the hottest things going. Many people became Black Belts and Green Belts saving their companies hundreds of thousands of dollars per year per project. Some companies recognized the need to add Lean as part of their management approach. This was a perfect marriage of having SSBB’s that already knew about improvement and converting them into Lean experts. This still continues today.

By combining Lean and Six Sigma techniques many organizations are reaping the benefits from Six Sigma type projects at the speed of Lean and kaizen.

Upcoming Events

We want to help spread the word.

  • With the spirit of continually bringing our customers the best that Lean has to give, we are offering a free webinar this month “Lean and Six Sigma Simplified” by expert Tom Dunn, MBB. Those who sign up and attend will receive a free copy of Hawkeye Process Improvement Management System software by D-bar Innovations.
  •  The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is holding their annual Lean and Six Sigma Conference February 28 – March 1, 2011 in Phoenix, AZ. Attend a workshop or hear some of the best Lean and Six Sigma practitioners in one place.
  •  There is another conference that will showcase Lean and Six Sigma The International Lean & Six Sigma Conference in San Antonio, TX March 15-17, 2011

Check out our website www.5Ssupply.com often as we continually add new products and services to fulfill our mission of “Helping organizations on their Lean journey.” Thanks – Tony