Optimize Organization with a New Red Tag Strategy

With the New Year approaching, now is the ideal time to start thinking about getting organized.

Remove the unwanted, unused, or abandoned items from your workplace with a strategy. With an effective red tag strategy, you can clear out the ‘dirt’ – also the Japanese word for red – and cut waste from your facility.

5S red tags, as noted in our article, How to Make 5S Red Tagging Successful in the Workplace, identify items in the work area that don’t bring value. Red tags make it easier to sort items so you can stay organized while you organize.

The red tag strategy is implemented in the first phase or the sorting phase of 5S – to help you remove unnecessary items. The most effective way to identify questionable items is by attaching red tags on them. With 5S red tags, you can almost immediately see results with little or no cost, as you find missing materials and tools or free up needed space. But sometimes once items are moved into the red tag area, they’re forgotten about.

Take the time to optimize your red tag strategy so you can clear your workspace of unwanted waste for good with these tips!

1. Schedule red tag launches. Like winter and spring cleaning, a good red tag strategy will be an ongoing benefit to your company. Red tagging should be a continuous process – one that never has an ending date. You might start the process in one section of your workplace, and move on to another section – but like cleaning, red tagging should regularly be scheduled.

Target areas in your factory, production floor, or processing plant to ensure sorting and checking of inventory, machinery, and equipment are implemented. Red tags are easily noticeable and help shine a light on how much clutter workers hold on to and the amount of space that’s wasted over time.

2. Communicate your plan. Be upfront with your team about the anticipated completion date. You'll want your employees to know when the items they’re tagging need to find an appropriate home or be disposed of. The hardest part might be trying to convince workers that certain things aren’t needed to get the job done.

Establish criterion for the implementation of the red tag strategy. Tell your coworkers how you’d like to utilize the newly created space in a more productive way. Do you have plans to buy a new machine? Freeing up space allows for new equipment to drive more revenue but it also helps improve the flow of materials and people that bring value. Communicate your plans to get your team excited about the new improvements.

3. Place someone in charge. It’s not enough to start the 5S red tagging strategy and let it run itself – you’ll need someone to actually manage the process. Sometimes personal ties to specific tools and equipment can stand in the way of the sorting phase of 5S.

When someone is placed in charge of the red tagging strategy, they can eliminate accumulation and keep items moving in the right direction. Accumulation can happen in any red tag area. That's why you need someone in charge to review the information on the tag and take the appropriate action to organize or eliminate the items.

Use red tags to establish organized, efficient, and valuable spaces in your workplace. With these three helpful tips, you can be in charge of visual management for a cleaner, more functional work environment!

Start your new year off right with 5S Red Tags!

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