How 5S Has Changed The Way We Work

WOW logo

Rachel Walker
WOW Workroom Ltd

Ok, so the whole team at WOW have OCD tendencies due to the nature of what we do; every stitch must be perfectly straight; the threads much match the fabric; the same processes are repeated in the same order every time; producing in volumes needs consistency, so when Alex introduced us to the Kaizen 5S way of life the whole team were immediately on board.

Although we are a small factory boy oh boy had we collected a lot of unnecessary ‘stuff’.  This is when we set out to ‘sort’.

We discovered that we had been storing so much, it had seriously eaten into our very valuable floor space which was restricting us on the flow of orders – it had been costing us money!!

The team worked together to decide what we needed and what we didn’t.  Getting everyone involved was imperative to making sure we started off well on the road to continuous improvement.  We then labeled, boxed, organised and gave everything a home in which it would stay, that was the ‘straighten’ completed.

Now we had this extra space, the place needed a good spring clean and with all this enthusiasm it was done quickly. ‘Shine’ done.

The next steps of ‘standardise’ and ‘sustain’ are the parts where our OCD tendencies rule, we now have standards in which we are all expected to stick to naturally and as part of our everyday routine.

Now this just sounds like a big clean up but it is far more than that.  We have procedures that make our production more efficient – Increase in turnover. Our machinery is better looked after and engineer call outs have gone down – Less expenditure. We don’t loose items and now don’t need to keep replacing things – thus reducing overhead costs.

Potential customers have been impressed by our standards and cleanliness – Guess what? We have new customers!   And the most important thing of all is that it enabled us to accept a large order we wouldn’t normally have been able to accommodate due to space and production capacity.

Thanks to working with Alex, we have seen a significant increase in turnover, with greatly increased profit margins.  All this from just one of his many steps to business growth.  Now its time to start working on the next one.

About Alex Petty

Blogger, runner, mentor
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