Jennifer & Tony of 5S Supply volunteering for e-cycling

5S Supply helps out local organizations as they accept electronics for recycling. 5S Supply has a history of helping when it comes to lean & green initiatives (see Giving Back).

H-F Green Team Electronics Recycling

This event was sponsored by the HF Green Team and Vintage Tech Recyclers. HF Team Members: the Villages of Homewood and Flossmoor, Homewood and Flossmoor Public Libraries, School Districts 161 and 153, HF High School and HF Park District.

Leave it to the lean guy to try to help create flow during the event. The local school volunteered their parking lot on a Saturday morning. We setup flow in one direction (cars could only come in one entrance and leave through the other end). As the cars pulled up, volunteers removed the items and sorted them (5S rules!) into the different types of electronics so it will be easier to recycle.

I was amazed on how much was dropped off during the event. If you think about it, everybody probably has some electronic items that could be recycled like old cell phones, computers, printers, TVs and more.

So if your local community has a recycling program or an e-cycling program, please participate. It only takes minutes to load up the car, drive over and drop it off. You’ll be helping a charity and practicing good lean practices. Don’t forget “Lean is Green”, reduce-reuse-recycle.

– Tony

We hope to see you at the AME Conference in Dallas next week. To assist in your planning and to maximize the use of your time, we wanted to provide a fun, short list of reasons to ‘go see’ us at 5S Supply.

Here are the Top Ten reasons to visit us at 5S Supply in Booth #506:

  1. We’re a conference sponsor – This is our first time exhibiting at the premiere conference on lean and we’d love to meet you.   As a Silver Sponsor of this event, we hope to help make your experience more enjoyable and educational.   Come and let us know what you think of our brand new displays.
  2. Red Tag Toss – Just Toss & Win!  Test your skill and have a little fun with our one-of-a kind game.  All participants receive a prize!
  3. Unique & Innovative Products – At 5S Supply we pride ourselves in offering new and inventive products that were created based on our real-world experience in leading Lean initiatives.  These include Red Tag Boards, Sticky Tags, Event Carts, Shadows & Boards, Gauge Range, Magwear, Holders, and Reward & Recognition items including hats, t-shirts, pens and pins.  Ask for your FREE sample while supplies last!
  4. Meet – This is your chance to meet one of the author’s of Lean Kaizen and the writer of the brand-new Total Productive Maintenance Blitz DVD (from SME and AME), our very own Lean Champion, Tony Manos.
  5. Fivesennall – Are your lean efforts getting you down?  We have just what the doctor ordered!  Come and ask us for a free bottle of Fivesennall.  It’s sure to be the cure for what ails you (or just taste good)!
  6. Feedback – At 5S Supply we want to hear from our customers.  We strive for Continuous Improvement and are always eager to hear from Lean implementers as to how we can better serve you.  Got an idea for a new product? We’d love to hear it.  Come and share!
  7. Tweets – We’ll be Tweeting all throughout the conference.  You can follow us www.twitter.com/5Ssupply or search for hash tag #AMEConf2011.
  8. Training – We are truly passionate about Lean.  We are real-world Lean experts who can assist with all of your implementation needs, from training to deployment.
  9. Meet the Presenter – Our Lean Champion, Tony Manos is presenting two workshops at the Conference. Hoshin Planning on Monday and Quick Changeover on Friday.
  10. More Free Stuff – At 5S Supply we offer free training tools including newsletter templates, audit sheets, Find-A-Words, the 5S Numbers Game and more.  We also offer FREE Webinars on a variety of Lean topics.  Our goal is to advance knowledge and understanding of Lean.  To keep informed of these events and other promotions you can sign up on our website at www.5Ssupply.com

“Sure hope y’all have a good time in Texas and come and say hello!”

Jennifer Molski
Customer Care Manager

I had an “ah-ha” moment while working with a team on developing measures & metrics to monitor their processes in a transactional environment. We talked about the usual things like: balanced scorecard, leading, lagging and real-time measures, quality, cost, delivery, balancing measures, realistic measures and so on. What was interesting to me was that they kept trying to create the “perfect” measure; one that would have no flaws, the one that would automatically tell them the absolute source of the problem.

I watched them discuss with this concept for a little bit because I wanted to see what their thought process was. After careful thinking, I spoke up and mentioned that we may never get to the “perfect” measure for any specific process, but we can get an indication that it is not at standard. I used the analogy of a pilot in a cockpit. In a jet plane there can be hundreds of status indicators, but at any one time the pilot is only monitoring a few. It is when a warning goes off that the pilot focuses on that particular one. So to put it another way, there may not be a “perfect” measure that automatically tells me the root cause of an abnormal situation; instead, if I get a warning about a process and have to investigate.

Measures & metrics can be like that; we may not find the flawless one, but we can find one that will help us understand when something is amiss. This also helps us create better measures & metrics as we learn more about our process. If we can create the impeccable measure then we should do it, but don’t let the fear of not creating it stop you. And don’t get into analysis paralysis.

On a side note, I was coming back from a trip and in the seat next to me was a pilot. When we talked about different airports, we kidded about Lindbergh Field in San Diego, CA; it can have a steep flight approach as it comes over hills right before the runway. The pilot mentioned that when flying an L-1011 that all sorts of warnings go off because of the tight fit. She also mentioned that they can visually see the runway and have it under control. So here’s to a visual workplace that allows us to do our job correctly, safely, on-time (hopefully for airlines) and satisfy the customer!

If you find perfect measures, let me know. – Tony


P.S. Here’s something that may help when trying to understand transactional processes: Metrics-based Process Mapping