7 5S Management Musts to Sustainment - Part 4

The fourth management MUST to sustain 5S is for them to Support 5S. As a recap, the first three MUSTS are:

1. Get on the floor - go to gemba

2. Go through 5S training

3. Be a part of the 5S Team

Today, I'll talk about the fourth 5S Management Must which is to Support 5S. What do I mean by support? It's really quite simple. Managers must give their staff the time and materials to follow through with 5S activities. Let's look at these individually:

Time: if I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times when I'm at trade-shows and talk to 5S practitioners. The conversation goes something like this:

5S Practioner: "We used to do 5S"

Me: "Used too? Why did you stop?"
5S Practioner: "We got too busy so management told us there's no time for 5S"

Me: "sigh"

5S can not be something that's only done when you time. You'll never have time. The only way to give 5S the time it needs is to schedule it or even better, make it part of your regular standardized work. Management MUST not waiver on this for if they do it spells certain death of their 5S process. 

Materials: 5S materials do not cost a lot of money. If ever you hear "we didn't have the budget for 5S", run, don't walk away. As Founder and President of The 5S Store for over 10 years now I know what the average customer spends. It's easily affordable. Moreover, management needs to make sure the materials are always readily available. One of the worst things that can happen to a department that's plugging away at 5S is to run out red tags or floor tape. One idea is to put kanbans in place for your most common 5S materials. One client of mine kept all of their 5S materials on a dedicated 6 shelf unit along with laminated kanban cards and a process for reordering. If you'd like to know more about this idea, just comment in this post. 

To summarize, the fourth Management MUST to Sustain 5S is Support 5S. It may take a little diligence when times get crazy but you'll be glad you did. More importantly, your staff will see that regardless of how busy things get, 5S is important to management thus setting the foundation for sustainability. 

Three more MUSTS to go. See you soon

David Visco

5S Expert

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