Many organizations use planning techniques such as strategic planning or hoshin kanri to get the direction of the company, create the plans and implement them. So what’s your Lean emphasis this year? Take our one-click quick poll and see what others are thinking. Go to our homepage and you’ll see it on the right side www.5Ssupply.com.

P.S. You can also signup for our upcoming free webinar on Value Stream Mapping: What to do before you dive in.

5S Supply’s Year in Review

December 19, 2011

As part of any good hansei (honest reflection) and Hoshin planning we like to look back and share some of our highlights for 2011 at 5S Supply.

Jennifer & Tony at AME

Conference Sponsorship and Exhibiting – This was the first year we ever had a booth at a conference. We were a Silver Level Sponsor for the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Conference in Dallas, Texas October 25-27. If you missed it, check out our photos on Flickr 5S Supply.

5S Benchmarking Survey – we had hundreds of people participate in the most comprehensive benchmarking survey ever created for 5S. We will have “The Very Best of 5S” report coming out soon.

New Products – we continue to find outstanding new items that will help you on your lean journey. Some of our top new products include: Gauge Range, Mobile Tool Works, and Tru-Tray System.

TPM Blitz DVD – I was honored to help create the newest DVD on Total Productive Maintenance from the Society for Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME). The TPM Blitz DVD showcases a team as they perform a four-day TPM event in a manufacturing cell.

Social Media – we continued to add to our ever growing lean community with our 5S Supply Facebook page, Twitter account, 5S Supply YouTube channel and more. Join the conversation!

As we move into 2012 we will continue to bring you the best of lean with our products and services. Some things to look forward to include:

Lean Handbook – I am a co-editor of the upcoming “Lean Handbook” from Quality Press with the launch to coincide with the American Society for Quality’s Lean and Six Sigma Conference February 27-28, 2012 in Phoenix Arizona. I will host a session on “The Lean Handbook Journey”.

More new products – We will continue to create and find the best products for you lean implementation. Stay tuned as we continue to add items to our site.

Training – of course we will continue with our ever-popular free webinars. We will also support on-site lean implementation help, training, coaching, kaizen facilitation and consulting. Our mission is to help you on your lean journey; our extensive experience will lead your organization to the next level.

So here’s to a great 2011 and an even better 2012!

All the best,


It’s pretty easy to see how Value Stream Mapping helps out in operations planning or short-term planning (one year or less time-frame). But what about using VSM for strategic or long term planning?

Here are two answers for that:

  1. Create Extended Level Value Stream Map
  2. Create Ideal State Value Stream Map

As you get better in your lean thinking, you will discover that involving your customers and suppliers is the right thing to do. Using your Extended Level VSM can help tailor your strategic long term or Hoshin plan to help improve your market position. Seeing what is important to your customers and suppliers by getting them involved in your Extended Level VSM focusing on a longer time frame (three to five years) will help build a solid strategic plan. This, of course, means getting top management from the supply chain actively involved. Another way VSM can help strategic planning is to create an Ideal State Map for a value stream. Create an ideal Future State that is about five years out. This will help determine “breakthrough” strategies as part of your strategic planning.

Some organizations are seeing the benefit of using Hoshin Kanri as their primary strategic planning and execution process. It might seem a little “chicken and the egg” to say should we have our Value Stream Maps first to help direct our planning efforts or should our planning efforts drive our maps? Well. The simple answer is “yes”. Part of Hoshin is to review previous plans including Value Stream Maps. Once a strategic vision is set VSM can help drive the right projects to help achieve the future state.

Join us for a Free Webinar – Introduction to Value Stream Mapping September 29, 2011