Lean 6S management system
Lean refers to maintaining a zero waste environment. An organization can follow 3 different concepts like Total quality management, 6 Sigma or 6S system to maintain a lean management systematized environment. All these management systems help to reduce wastage (8 wastes) and for process continuous improvement. In this platform, I would like to discuss on 6S, the fundamental and an easy way to reduce wastage and Improve Process.
6S is developed from the quality management policy, originated in Japan as 5S Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke. Now let’s elaborate on the terms and ways to implement them;
- Sort (Seiri): The initial step in the process is to recognize unnecessary items in the workplace that has to be discarded or kept offsite to reuse in the future. This enables the essential items that are required on a daily basis, readily available for efficient working.
How can we implement this step in an organization?
Simple, sorting out the unused or damaged items available in the organization, mark them with the Red tag containing the details of machine type, date of damage, the reason for red tagging, actions to take, location. Then it will be kept aside for reuse in future or dispose it to the E-Waste. Then it will be kept aside for reuse in future or dispose it to the E-Waste. In LiveRoom the damaged items are marked in a black colored tape.
- Set in order (Seiton): After clearing all the unnecessary items the remaining will be the essential assets, that has to be set in an easily accessible area for employees to reach, which help to reduce sources of waste and error.
This can be implemented in an organization by deciding the locations of the equipment and objects after consultation, use paint or color taps, labels on tables, equipment, floors, and walls so a particular space is allocated for any asset or objects. In LiveRoom we keep a record on the assets using the numbering system that helps to identify its current status and the total number of resources as an action to implement this step.
- Shine (Seiso): The is the 3rd step of the 6s process cycle, keeping the workplace clean, free of debris, stains and also to reduce the number of accidents that might occur in the workplace. To implement this stage the members working can take actions starting with minor cleaning tasks like, throwing their own wastes and washing cup, cleaning things such as equipment, desks and anything that affects overall cleanliness by themselves. To reduce the accidents, as per the 2nd step the objects were allocated specific space if taken for usage must be kept in that particular space.
- Standardize (Seiketsu): This step involves implementing the first three practices into the workplace human minds and make it a work routine. During this implementation phase, the administration identifies ways to establish improved workplace practices as a standard, setting worker responsibility, and conducting routine inspections and regular site checks for quality assurance and work is done percentage. This reminds people to adhere with the above 3 steps and avoid practising the old inefficient work routines.
- Sustain (Shitsuke): After all implementation and achievements resulted from the above 4 steps, these new work processes and systems also should be long term and continue with the same momentum to achieve the greatest results.
- Safety: Safety has become an additional sequence of the improvement process cycle which involves ensuring that the production and the work environment meet the required safety standards. Why was this added to the system? Working in the place with high safety standards improves the productivity and safety for the employee’s life. The focus is on informing employees to make aware of potential hazardous situations and preventive actions;
- Providing hazardous warnings and work guidelines at the point of necessity
- Every manufacturing and small scale business should make sure it has an emergency fire exit and a fire extinguisher, first aid stations, and safety showers, etc. are precisely mentioned
- Ensure that the essential protection equipment is placed in an easily accessible area and ready for emergency usage.
Few might know the concept exists but will not implement this due to negligence, but the implementation of this concept reduces the non-value adding activities, improves floor space utilization and produces many other benefits. Yes, this process takes an ample amount of time in implementing but the outcome will definitely be worth it.
A 6S system might not be up to the standard of 6 sigma, but gives the same outcome as all, Lean management system. So as an organization we should take initiative actions to implement the 6s system.
On behalf of Team LiveRoom, prepared by Sulakshini Sivaprakasam.