1 august 2022
When Ben Jungers took over the management of the family business in 2012, he quickly sought to restructure and reorganize our warehouse and offices using the 5-S method.
In this article, we explain what this method is and why it can be useful for you too, on a daily basis, in the office and at home.
The 5S method was developed within the Japanese firm Toyota in order to improve the organization of the workflows. The goal is to rid the environment of clutter, to organize it, to keep it tidy and to keep it in order to gain in quality.
Facilitate storage with unique locations for each tool.
To successfully implement the 5S, it is necessary to apply them in order and to carry them out until the end. The implementation of the 5S method requires the successive realization of all the steps that compose it.
We apply this method based on common sense and simple rules, both in our warehouse and in our offices.
Example of “Seiton” storage mode
Once we have mastered and taken control of these different steps, we have seen a noticeable gain in efficiency, which saves us time and therefore improves our effectiveness.
It’s a continuous process that requires a lot of energy and motivation. Thanks to Christian for following this method on a daily basis and for allowing us to continuously improve the organization of our warehouse.
In order to make this method a daily routine for all team members, we dedicate 2 half days per year where we all decide together on the improvements to be made to our storage and organizational methods and on the things that are no longer of use and that should be thrown away.
Know that this method can also be applied to your smartphone, computer or work environment, here are some concrete examples:
Delete, file or archive all files and folders you haven’t opened in a long time.
Uninstall applications or software that you hardly ever use and that occupy unnecessary memory on your computer or phone.
Organize your software or applications by thematic folders: shopping, social networks, games, etc.
Create folders in your computer and group the different files by theme instead of leaving them scattered.
Concretely in our warehouse this allowed us to move from an organization where all products from the same supplier were grouped together to a logic where now products are grouped by types of work (e.g. all products and machines needed to rip out parquet are grouped together).
A place for everything, everything in its place
Make sure your pens, pencils, stamps… aren’t lying around on the desk, but where you’d expect to find them. You may have had the experience of borrowing a pen and forgetting to return it or not knowing who it belongs to.
To avoid this, we put our initials on our pens. This avoids ending up with a dozen “borrowed” pens, or conversely, not having any suitable ones on hand.
Think about buying a labeling machine because you’re going to need it badly!
Dust your desk and clean your computer equipment (computer, keyboard, printer, mouse, cables…) and change or repair damaged equipment (broken phone screen, frayed charger wire…)
Establish rules for naming your files and folders, this will make it easier to (re)find them. For example, for your files, you can apply this type of structure: YYYY/MM/DD_client_category. This could be: 2022/06/21_Middle_School_Quotation, this file will be stored in the folder: Customers > Middle_School.
Clean your hard disk every month and install a cleaning software on your smartphone and computer.
At the end of the day, before you leave your office, make sure everything is in its place.
At the end of every week, schedule a dusting of your desk and clean up your computer equipment.
Every two weeks, schedule a file archiving session. This will allow you to file any completed files that are not yet in the archive.
Every month, run your cleaning software and clean up your computer or smartphone.