Driving Workplace Efficiencies – Using The 5S Methodology

At Dalzell & Bagley, we pride ourselves on our ability to manufacture parts efficiently. But efficiency is achieved through more than just manufacturing to best method. It has to be part of the culture of the company, ingrained in the way we do everything, from machining and fabrication to filing and administrative work.

Ten years ago, we realised that to stay competitive and at the top of our market sector we needed to put systems in place. A system that enables us to become more efficient and be able to maintain this efficiency regardless of our workload. A system that could scale with our fluctuating demand.

CHALLENGE
To implement an efficiency system that:

  •  Can be implemented in all aspects of our engineering business
  • Allow flexibility in the implementation to suit our needs
  • Improve efficiency levels
  • Engage our workforce to be proactive
  • Reduce manufacturing costs

SOLUTION

By engaging the services of QMI Solutions, we conducted a thorough analysis of the business model, and where our strengths and weakness lay. The recommendation came forth that we should implement the 5S methodology. Developed in Japan, the 5S system is best put to use in companies that implement a JIT (Just In Time) manufacturing procedure. The 5 S’s are Seiton, Seiri, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. In English, these refer to Systematic Arrangement, Sort, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

Outcomes

  • Systematically re-arranged each workstation for best user function
  • Sorted the equipment deemed essential and non-essential at each workstation
  • Shined - cleaned and serviced all equipment
  • Standardized each workstation so that any tradesperson could go from one workstation to another and know where to find all equipment needed
  • Sustain - an ongoing process of constant re-evaluation

With the 5S system in place, we noticed substantial improvements in our efficiency and minimising of waste, our workplace was clearer and tidier, and tradespeople were more effectively able to move between workstations without hassle. The 5S system is an ongoing initiative that needs regular re-assessment to remain relevant to the particular needs of each workplace. Once implemented, however, it will undoubtedly improve efficiency in a way tailored to your own needs.

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