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September 14, 2016

5S and JSI: Becoming Cleaner and Leaner

Have you seen the cordless drill? Do we have any more of “x”? We need more room in the warehouse and we really need more room on the workshop floor! Where is that file?  These questions and statements were commonplace at JSI a year ago. The bad news was that all of these are signs of waste and inefficiency.

So, in October of 2015, JSI embarked on a 5S improvement process. 5S is a lean manufacturing tool designed to clean and organize the workplace to improve operations. The five S’s stand for Sort, Store, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. We have been going through the process over the last 11 months and have made some significant improvements.

5S and its’ counterpart, lean manufacturing, is an ongoing process – it really has no endpoint. You can always get better and things change and create new improvement opportunities. Here are some of our accomplishments so far:

Here are a couple of photos of our progress. The first picture is before implementation and the second is after.

shop-before shop-after

While the top of the tables are frequently left with work to continue the next day, below the tables tended to just accumulate materials. Not anymore!

office-before office-after

The second desk is obviously a more productive desk. The atmosphere of the office is less stressful.

One of the toughest challenges of this process is to maintain the improvements and continue to get better. It is easy to backslide! As we continue to reap the benefits of a clean and lean workplace, we will keep pushing to go cleaner and leaner.

Stay tuned!


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