Lean in New Zealand


New Zealand's source for business, stock market & currency news on Stuff.co.nz

Here is a decent lean overview, which includes a visit by John Shook to some New Zealand companies.

One quote strikes me:

The first step at both factories was to tidy up the workplace. Mr O'Halloran says one of the biggest causes of wasted time is searching for what you need to do a job.

Keep that in mind when you are working on 5S. As it implies above, the goal of 5S isn't just to be “clean” and “tidy.” Rather, the goal of 5S is to eliminate waste and to make problems immediately apparent.

At a previous job of mine, some people thought 5S meant you had to label everything. Putting a sticker/label on a PC monitor that says “monitor” was pure waste. Everyone knew it was a monitor. It's not that they were labeling the location of said monitor, they were identifying it as such. The operators thought it was silly, so we started peeling up the wasteful labels.

Another tip – if your operators think something is silly (such as labeling “phone”, “printer”, etc.), they might be onto something.

That was a “lightbulb” moment for me when I realized that some misguided 5S practices could be “muda” in and of itself. If the tape outline you're putting around something or the label you're putting on something doesn't help reduce waste, then that activity itself is probably waste.

Have a good lean day.

Please check out my main blog page at www.leanblog.org

The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

, , , on the author's copyright.

What do you think? Scroll down to comment or share your thoughts and the post on social media. Don't want to miss a post or podcast? Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.


Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
  1. jp says

    Yep, saw that 100 times at my last company. It’s a great example of how we focus on using “Lean tools” without understanding the greater context.

  2. Richard Steel says

    In my book, which of course is yet to be written…%s is not a tool,it is a way of life. Back in my days at Unipart(UK)wheilst working with Dan Jones, I once penned a magazine article about how I applied 5S principles to the laundry process…maybe I should dig it up again!
    Hands up who uses 5S at home?

  3. Mark Graban says

    Hey Richard — I use 5S in a somewhat informal way in my kitchen. I don’t put tape around everything, but I rearranged stuff so my knives are in the drawer above the cupboard with the cutting boards, which are all below the spot where I tend to chop and prepare food. No more walking back and forth across the kitchen like I had to in the old layout.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.