Finally a learning simulation that really quenches my thirst for knowledge (about Lean Supply Chain). Now available at 5S Supply!

Our friends at the Lean Leaning Center designed this beer supply chain simulation to illustrate the impact that systems, subsystems and other contributing factors have on organizational results. Fun encourages learning as participants are fully immersed into the simulation and fulfill the role of Factory, Distributor, Wholesaler or Retailer within the beer supply chain. Participants work strategically to fulfill their customer orders while keeping their weekly operational costs low.

Product Details

Participants will experience firsthand the ineffectiveness of firefighting problems while running their supply chain operation and upon review of their final results. Strategies for analyzing the intricacies of systems that cannot be easily seen at the surface level are exposed during an interactive and dynamic debrief. Participants will understand that better results will only be realized by addressing opportunities and problems at the system level.

The Training Package

The training package will accommodate up to 16 participants and includes:

  • One spiral-bound facilitator guide with detailed facilitation and debrief guidance
  • Participant Lean Systems Primer takeaway reference in 3 sizes (8.5″ x 11″, legal, 11″ x 17″) for easy reproduction
  • Presentation slides in Power Point format
  • Two full color supply chain game boards made of durable vinyl that resist permanent creases, clean easily and are conveniently sized to fit 2 standard folding tables (30″ x 144″)
  • Two colors of durable plastic chips that illustrate cases of beer moving to customers
  • Two complete sets of spiral-bound supply chain visual aids that illustrate game steps for every supply chain position
  • Two sets of pre-determined order cards that specify customer demand for the Retailer
  • USB drive with all instructional materials provided as editable Word files


To allow you the maximum amount of flexibility, your purchase includes a license that permits your organization to facilitate the simulation as often as needed and for any number of participants. The complete training package, including all instructional materials is available for $3,500.

The training package will accommodate up to 16 players. For organizations that will be facilitating larger groups, we offer new and existing license holders the option to purchase additional game kits for $650 each. Each additional kit will accommodate 8 players and comes complete with:

  • One 30″ x 144″ full color supply chain game board made of durable vinyl that resists permanent creases and cleans easily
  • Two colors of durable plastic chips that illustrate cases of beer moving to customers
  • One set of pre-determined order cards to specify customer demand at the Retailer position
  • One complete set of spiral-bound supply chain visual aids

Complete training package: $3,500

Usually ships in 2-3 days

For more information>> The Beer Game

Do you need Systems to Win?

September 13, 2012

5S Supply and Systems2win – a winning combination!

5S Supply has recently established an affiliation with our friends at Systems2win to offer you 150 Word and Excel templates for continuous process improvement. Dean Ziegler, owner of Systems2win originally developed these templates during 14 years of manufacturing systems consulting. Systems2win has all the bases covered from 5S to Value Stream Mapping and everything in between. Here’s a short list of some of their great offerings:

Value Stream Mapping

The Value Stream Mapping bundle of templates includes not only a simple drawing tool, but also the “power tool” that has dozens of lean calculations pre-programmed. There is also a Supply Chain Map, a Value Stream Plan, and a template for sorting out your Product Families.

Lean Tools

The Lean Tools bundle has a 5S Scorecard, Red Tag Log, Sustainment Checklist, and an entire suite of templates for Standard Work – with diverse tools to fit diverse processes.

Kaizen Bundle

The Kaizen bundle has templates not only for kaizen events – but also A3 problem solving, a Gantt Chart project plan, Hoshin strategic planning, Leader Standard Work, and other popular ways to organize your teams.

Six Sigma

The cornerstone of the Six Sigma bundle is the FMEA template – which (by some amazing programming) allows you to use Excel’s Filter and PivotTable features (that are usually disabled by merged cells within an FMEA). And it comes with the entire suite of templates for Root Cause Analysis, QFD, OEE, Pareto, etc.

Why choose Systems2win?

The most common reason for a company to standardize on Systems2win templates is… standardization.

A standardized set of templates, with a consistent standard user interface, consistent standard online training and videos, using familiar Microsoft Word and Excel that is now leveraged beyond where you thought it could take you.

For example… with the click of a button, any Systems2win Excel template can now be in Chinese, then Spanish, then Portuguese, then back to English.

For example… every time that you upgrade your templates in the future, Systems2win has a utility to cycle through YOUR legacy templates to find YOUR personalization’s and automatically merge them with the new version.

Check them out for yourself. You can download a free trial at wwwSystems2win.com.

5S Supply’s “One Good Ideal” Photo Challenge

5S Supply Photo Challenge Image

Send in your photos and you could win!

Show off your solutions and share with other Lean practitioners!


As part of “yokoten” – sharing best practices – 5S Supply would like you to share “One Good Idea” that showcases an improvement in your work area. A visual workplace is a great workplace and a picture is worth 1,000 words so show us your before & after photos of an improvement that you (and your team) created. For more information>> 5S Supply Photo Challenge

Reward & Recognition

To recognize the top achievers, 5S Supply is providing the following rewards:

  • 1st Place (1) $500 gift certificate for merchandise from 5S Supply
  • 2nd Place (1) is two DVDs from GBMP (approximate value $258)
  • 3rd Place (1) is a Visual Workplace Color Standards Template from the Visual Workplace
  • Honorable Mention (10) will receive a gift certificate for 20% off their next order with 5S Supply valid through October 31st, 2012.

The odds of winning depend on the number of valid entries received and the evaluation by the judges.


Our distinguished panel of judges (see below) will select the top entries based on:

  1. Originality
  2. A focus on lean and visual principles
  3. Impact to your work-space or organization

How to Enter

Share your “One Good Idea”. You can use our Excel Template (that you can keep and use for your own Lean and Visual efforts) or create one that is similar. Please provide the following information:

  • Problem (250 characters) – Briefly describe the problem you were trying to solve.
  • Solution (250 characters) – Briefly describe the solution that was created
  • Before State (upload image – if you have one) – upload a “Before” image (300 x300 pixels preferred)
  • After State (upload image) – upload the new “After” image (300 x300 pixels preferred)
  • Benefits (250 characters) – Describe the benefits achieved with this solution (this doesn’t just have to be monetary benefits)
  • Photo Release – I agree to allow 5S Supply to publish and share these images
  • Name
  • email
  • Telephone

The Photo Challenge Starts August 1st, 2012 and the deadline for entry is midnight (CST) August 31, 2012. Winners will be selected and notified by September 28, 2012.

5S Supply Photo Challenge Judges

  • Dr. Gwendolyn Galsworth, Visual Thinking Inc. & The Visual-Lean Institute
  • Pat Wardwell, LGC, COO, GBMP
  • Rhonda Kovera, CEO, Visual Workplace, Inc.
  • Chris Abrey, LBC Accurate Perforating

Any questions? Please contact Jennifer Molski, Manager Customer Care, 5S Supply 815-469-5687 or jmolski@5Ssupply.com.

I am pleased to announce that “The Lean Handbook” is now available at 5S Supply.

When I was asked a while back if I was interested in being an editor for this book, I was genuinely humbled by the offer. To me, putting together one tome that would sum up the Lean Bronze Certification Body of Knowledge seemed like a task suited for scholars more well-versed in lean than I was. I graciously accepted the offer and thus the journey began.

In order to write a book of this magnitude we enlisted help from several lean experts and authors to help stitch together all the rubrics of the Lean Body of Knowledge (BOK). I personally like to thank each and every one of them for giving and sharing their time, thoughts, stories and expertise.

Contributing Authors:

Chris Abrey Matt Maio Govind Ramu
Andy Carlino David Mann Rama Shankar
Adil Dalal Brian Maskell Greg Stocker
Grace Duffy Tim McMahon Chad Vincent (Co-editor)
David S. Foxx Dr. Mark Morgan Pat Wardwell
Dr. Gwendolyn Galsworth Frank Murdock Jerry Wright
Bruce Hamilton Mike Osterling
John Kendrick Bob Petruska

There is so much to talk about this handbook that I hope to write some additional blogs as time allows.

Thanks and I hope you enjoy it! – Tony

Special Offer
For a limited time, get 25% off “The Lean Handbook” from 5S Supply and if you like I will sign a personalized copy for you.

This just started out as one of those silly jokes about Lean Champions (see last bullet) and it kept growing from there.

Ask people in your organization about this picture and here might be some responses:

  • Pessimist – the glass is half empty
  • Optimist – the glass is half full
  • Economist – this may be a good economic indicator or bad economic indicator
  • Accountant – go out and count it each month
  • Marketing Manager – it should have scotch in it
  • Sales Manager – this is the best hydrating water available, filtered by nature in an easy pour, see through container and its diet too
  • Customer Service Rep – we can ship half now and the other half is on back-order
  • Scheduler using ERP – you have to wait until we run the report to tell you what to do
  • Production Manager – fill it all the way up and add 10% more and go fill five more glasses while we can
  • Production Supervisor – can I drink it? It’s hot in here
  • Water-filler Operator – I’ll fill it to whatever level you want
  • Purchasing Manager – fill it all the way up with the cheapest water we can find
  • Inventory Control – when the new water comes in, make sure we maintain First-in, First-out (FIFO) integrity
  • Logistics Manager – I can’t ship a half full glass of water; that will cost too much. Wait until it is full
  • Quality Control – it is a clear, odorless liquid that we will run three hours of tests on
  • Safety Manager – where’s the MSDS?
  • Consultant – it is a glass that is half-filled with water
  • Scientist – it is a full glass with half water and half filled with air
  • Research & Development – we have H2O molecules that have thousands of uses
  • Lean Champion – the glass is twice as big as it needs to be

See, Lean can be fun (kind of). If you have others you like to add, feel free. – Tony

P.S. Don’t forget to stop by 5Ssupply to see what’s new!

5S Supply is pleased to announce its affiliation with Gemba Academy.Gemba Academy

5S Supply is always seeking out ways to continue to bring value to its customers and having access to Gemba Academy highly rated training videos will assist any organization on their lean journey. With over 230 high quality videos available 24/7 this subscription service is a great way to train people on lean concepts. 

About Gemba Academy

The mission of Gemba Academy LLC is to provide high quality online video training for individuals and groups. By leveraging leading edge technologies such as high definition (HD) video delivered via a global network of servers on high bandwidth connections, they can deliver high quality training, on demand, anywhere in the world. Gemba Academy was created by three of the leading providers of business transformation knowledge and services. Their experience and networks allows them to tap into the best content and knowledge resources available.

“Partnering with 5S Supply is a great fit for Gemba Academy. Our goals are the same – to help organizations learn and apply lean principles and practices. We’re excited about this new avenue to help educate and advance awareness of lean thinking.” – Ron Pereira, Managing Partner, Gemba Academy LLC.

Gemba Academy DVDsTo celebrate this new partnership, 5S Supply and Gemba Academy have put together a limited time special offer. Get 34 DVDs free with a 6 month subscription. Click here for more details>> Lean Training DVDs.

Benefits of Gemba Academy Training

  • Cost Effective – A one year subscription to Gemba Academy costs less than bringing in most consultants for a single day.
  • Site-based Subscription – you pay one price to train all associates in a single site. There are tiered discount pricing available for multi-site subscriptions.
  • Self-paced Learning – online based training allows your associates to learn at their own pace – or fill up a conference room and train a group of people at one time.
  • Enhanced Instructor Lead Training – add a little variety to live classroom style training (think day 1 of kaizen events) by mixing in short and energetic Gemba Academy videos.
  • Slow Internet? No Problem – all Gemba Academy videos are available on DVDs for those times reliable Internet access isn’t available
  • Off-line Learning – downloadable learning material (PDFs, Excel templates, Quizzes, etc.) allows the learning to continue offline.
  • Spend more time in Gemba – no need to travel to training seminars saving money and time away from the gemba, or the place the work is done.
  • The Lean Journey and Lean Learning Never Ends – New training content added regularly creating an extremely dynamic learning environment.
  • Kaizen Case Studies – real life kaizen case studies included in learning modules along with interviews from lean thinking leaders from all over the world.
  • Learn from the Best – Gemba Academy is affiliated with the Kaizen Institute allowing you to tap into the best lean thinking minds in the world.
  • World-class Video Delivery SystemFlash and iOS ready videos are streamed through a Global Network of Edge servers meaning it doesn’t matter if you are in Arkansas or New Zealand… these videos will play.

5S Supply is pleased to announce that it now carries the Cobra VnM8 SignMaker. This highly versatile and cost effective sign making unit is simple to operate. No more waiting for signs; all you have to do is type and print!

What’s nice about this unit is that it is simple and easy to use compared to other large printers. You can start printing right away with custom templates preloaded into the software. For even more customization we recommend the VnM LabelDirect software package. This offers all the features you would expect from a professional labeling package including database integration, copy fitting, variable graphics, serial numbers and industry standard linear and 2D barcode symbologies; plus many other unique features. We highly recommend this software to maximize the capabilities of the VnM8.

This unit is not just for manufacturers; this is a perfect solution for hospitals, labs, stores and more.

Save time (and money!) because you don’t have to wait two weeks or more for an outside sign shop or deal with minimum order quantities. This could save you up to 50-80% compared to online or print shops. You want it, you print it. The Cobra VnM8 has tons of media and label choices that are up to 70% lower costs compared to other printing systems. Overall, if you want to make you workplace visual and lean the VnM8 is extremely cost effective solution.

We carry several media types and ink sizes and colors to choose from including:

  • Vinyl
  • Reflective
  • Fluorescent
  • Glow-in-the-dark
  • and Magnetic
  • Ink rolls 6″ or 8″
  • All in a variety of colors


  • Custom Signs and Labels 4″ to 9″
  • No PC Needed
  • Simple, Easy to Use
  • Print over 50 symbols


  • OSHA Signs
  • ANSI Signs
  • Custom Signs
  • HazMat Signs
  • Custom Labels
  • Vehicle Signs
  • Biohazard Signs
  • Forms and Procedures
  • One-point Lessons
  • Drum Labels
  • Facility Signs
  • 5S Labeling
  • and much, much more!

Click here for more information>> VnM8 SignMaker