The workplace system – based on the five Japanese words of Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardise and Sustain – will help us reduce waste, streamline production, improve quality and enhance safety.
Ultimately, 5S will underpin our Diamond Route Approach, which is designed to provide exceptional service at every stage of a project.
“In short, the 5S approach is about having an organised workplace,” said RKMS consultant Brian Butler, who has been working with Maple on the roll-out. “It’s a step-by-step process for creating an environment for improvement and efficiency.”
Members of the Maple team in the factory and the office are working towards a Level Two (L2) NVQ Qualification in Business Improvement Techniques as part of a Government-funded (95%) apprenticeship scheme. The qualification covers practical, theoretical and project-based learning based on Lean Management – the 5S approach.
Brian explained: “The first S: Sort – the lads in the factory are continuing to remove unnecessary items from the workplace... reducing the clutter and improving the flow.
“Straighten: creating proper storage areas and clearly identifying equipment and stock. Already you can see a more logical flow; things are where they should be, and people waste less time looking for things.
“Shine is all about cleanliness; it’s everyone’s responsibility to clean up.”
Brian added: “The first three S’s are operational. They seem like little things, but they’re really important – because once people get used to them, they become the norm. They say, ‘that’s the way we do things around here’.
“Four and five: Standardise and Sustain; they’re more strategic. The whole Maple workforce are involved in setting and maintaining standards for the way they work; to make 5S a core discipline and a sustainable daily habit.”