5S Warehousing: 5s method to create a lean warehouse (Video)
5S warehouse practices: How to use the 5s method to create a lean warehouse
5S practices are core to Beck & Pollitzer’s organisational method of lean warehousing. Beck & Pollitzer implement the 5S method in all of our warehouses, as can be seen from our video.
The 5S warehouse method comes from Japan and is outlined by five key tenets: Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set in Order), Seiso (Shine), Seiketsu (Standardise), Shisuke (Sustain). The main benefits of the 5S in warehousing are to increase the productivity of factories, create an ideal work environment and reduce the waste of resources.
The 5 steps of the 5S methodology are:
- Sort (Seiri): This practice involves organizing and removing unnecessary items from the warehouse. It includes identifying and discarding unused or obsolete materials, tools, equipment, and inventory. The aim is to create a clean and clutter-free workspace, which enhances efficiency and safe
- Set in Order (Seiton): Set in Order focuses on arranging the remaining items in a logical and efficient manner. This practice involves developing a systematic storage system and establishing designated locations for each item. Proper labeling, signage, and visual cues are used to ensure items are easily accessible and can be quickly identified.
- Shine (Seiso): The Shine practice involves cleaning and maintaining the warehouse regularly. It includes sweeping, mopping, dusting, and removing any debris or dirt from the work areas. Regular cleaning not only improves the overall appearance but also prevents accidents and keeps equipment and inventory in good condition.
- Standardise (Seiketsu): Standardisation involves establishing clear and consistent procedures and guidelines for warehouse operations. This practice ensures that everyone follows the same set of rules and processes, leading to increased efficiency, reduced errors, and improved safety. Standardisation also includes implementing visual controls and documentation to help maintain the 5S practices.
- Sustain (Shitsuke): Sustaining the 5S practices requires ongoing commitment and discipline from all employees. It involves regularly reviewing and maintaining the established standards, ensuring adherence to the practices, and encouraging continuous improvement. Sustaining the 5S principles involves training employees, conducting audits, and fostering a culture of cleanliness, organization, and efficiency in the warehouse.
How can you learn from the 5S method to implement lean warehousing for your business? The following are some simple tips on 5S in warehousing to help your lean warehouse reach its potential.
Installing additional lighting and placing workflow charts in their relevant areas of operation will aid the cohesion of workers and ensure higher rates of productivity.
Organise and mark the fire protection equipment zone
The fire protection zone must always be accessible and free of obstructions, and the zone should never be used for storing materials. If you stick to 5S practices, you will have an organised, flowing workspace so there should not be any temptation to clutter up this vital safety zone.
Identify any areas that can be classed as a hazardous area
Clearly defined markings on the floor will highlight to employees potentially hazardous/dangerous areas. Warehouses are becoming safer places to work than ever, but there are always going to be hazards in operation, so a clear designated hazardous/dangerous area marked in the warehouse (colour coded / hatched grids / lines, signed) will ensure a more safer working environment.
Organize wastepaper storage
A lean warehouse should be clutter-free, and the provision of a wastepaper storage area will help reduce the paper build up in unwanted areas around the warehouse, as well as reduce slipping and tripping hazards. This area should be equipped with proper fire safety management equipment.
The provision of a 5S board can help in highlighting the 5S requirements, plans, objectives for the warehouse employees and this board should contain all relevant information for your employees, including a warehouse plan, layout, team schedules, required ongoing 5S actions, and instructions as well as emergency numbers.
If you follow these 5s warehousing tips, you will ensure a happier and more positive workforce to their surroundings, a much safer and efficient warehouse, and help in making significant cost reductions to warehouse operations.
A flowing, uncluttered workspace means employees are free to go about their tasks unhindered. By providing clear scheduling and organised floor plans it creates a lean, organised and efficient warehouse environment and a safe place for all its employees. A 5S warehouse is the beating heart of Beck & Pollitzer, supporting and keeping its operational activities working efficiently.
Beck & Pollitzer – Global provider of engineering and logistics services
With over 30 global locations and 150 years of experience Beck and Pollitzer can undertake a wide variety of projects including equipment moving and machine installation for a range of industrial sectors. To discuss your project needs please contact your closest office who will guide you through.