4M Cleans Up With 5S Methodology
4M has implemented 5S, an organizational system that creates clean, orderly, safe and high performance working environments at all of its locations.
The term 5S comes from 5 Japanese words:
Translated, these words mean:
- Set in order
Each S represents one part of a five-step process that can improve the overall function of a business.
SORT. Get rid of what’s not needed
The first step in the 5S system is to rid a space of whatever is unnecessary, such as, clutter, equipment, supplies, paperwork and duplicates of items. Sorting through and removing a space of items that aren’t needed creates a work environment that has space, uses less energy and saves time.
SET IN ORDER. Organize what’s left
After sorting comes setting in order, or organizing the items you do need, finding a place for everything and putting everything in its place. This step also includes repairing what needs fixing and implementing functional storage methods and places. Setting things in order eliminates searching for items when they’re needed.
SHINE. Clean up the workspace and do it daily
This is much more involved than a simple dust and mop. This kind of clean is deep down and makes everything that’s left looking brand new, even those items that are stored. Shining means painting, refurbishing, fixing—a down and dirty clean. Putting the shine on a workspace keeps things in tip-top shape all the time, reduces costs for repairs, creates an attitude of pride and boosts morale.
STANDARDIZE. Set a new expectation for equipment and techniques
Making standard the tools, techniques and processes used daily to do a job increases efficiency, increases consistency in task function and expectations, eliminates confusion and makes training much easier.
SUSTAIN. Make sure the system keeps working
5S isn’t a one and done. Once the system is in place, it’s important to make sure it keeps working as planned. The first four pillars rely on Sustain for success. Involving everyone in the system’s upkeep, continuing to develop the system and making a habit of properly maintaining it is key.
“5S has been a game changer for 4M,” says Steve Crain, COO. “It’s surprising how much time getting organized has saved us. For example, at our corporate offices, there isn’t any searching for envelopes, boxes, mop equipment, safety labels, etc. We all know where everything is now. People used to spend 15-20 minutes looking for something as simple as a shipping box. When you think about that on a company-wide level, that time can certainly add up. Implementing just a few organizational processes, which now seem like ‘no-brainers,’ we’ve begun to streamline how we operate everywhere!”
4M prides itself on keeping up to date and ahead of the curve by implementing new technology and processes, like 5S. It’s just one more way we continue to deliver the best, innovative, safe and sustainable cleaning service solutions for your business. CLICK HERE to learn more.