Implementing 5S Workplace Organization

 Sustaining Edge Solutions, Inc. Newsletter

Performance Improvement Solutions for Your Business                              June 2012


This Month
* Implementing 5S Workplace
* ISO Standard on Call Centers
* ISO 14001 Revision Underway
* In the News
* Training Courses

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Our newsletters provide information on business management systems.  These systems include ISO 9001, AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense, ISO/TS 16949 Automotive, ISO 27001 Information Security, ISO 13485 Medical Devices, ISO 14001 Environmental, and others.  Subjects include performance improvement methods such as Six Sigma, Lean Enterprise, and other topics of interest to our readers.

If you have any questions regarding the content or have a subject of interest for a future newsletter, please let us know

Implementing 5S Workplace Organization  

Many manufacturing organizations have followed a strategy toward a “5S” workplace as an element of lean manufacturing.  Implementing 5S programs involves small teams working together to get materials, equipment, and other resources closer to operations, right at workers’ fingertips and organized and labeled to facilitate operations with the smallest amount of wasted time and materials.

The 5S methodology uses visual cues to achieve more consistent operational results. The term refers to five steps: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, which are also sometimes known as the five pillars of a visual workplace. Benefits to the company from using the 5S methodology include raising quality, lowering costs, promoting safety, building customer confidence, decreasing factory setup-time, and lowering operating costs.


“A place for everything, and everything in its place” is the mantra of the 5S method. Storage and workspace systems allow improved organization and maximum use of cubic space for the highest-density storage. The result is an improved manufacturing process and the lowest overall cost for goods produced. 


Implementing the 5S method means cleaning up and organizing the workplace in its existing configuration. It is typically the first lean method that organizations implement. This lean method encourages workers to improve their working conditions and helps them learn to reduce waste, unplanned downtime, and in-process inventory.

The 5S methodology is typically implemented using a three-step process, which includes establishing a cross-functional team (including employees who work in the associated areas), touring all areas associated with the manufacturing process under review, and brainstorming ways to improve organization to reduce waste. For example, factories have more than their share of searching waste. It is not unusual for a three-hour changeover routine to include 30 minutes of searching. When attempting to reduce changeover time radically (for example, going from three hours to 10 minutes), there is clearly no room for 30 minutes of searching waste.


Value-stream mapping can be used in the 5S process to analyze the material, process, and information flow. The information is used to develop a current state map, which sets out how things have been done in the past. The team then analyzes the current state map to identify opportunities for workplace organization and housekeeping improvements. A wide range of ideas is considered, although all ideas won’t end up being viable, all are worthy of investigation. The key is to observe nonvalue-added processes and create an environment to promote value-added work through waste elimination.



For example, team members might observe workers walking long distances to obtain needed parts, or spending time reaching into bins on shelves to find parts. Or they may identify hardware, like nuts, bolts and screws that are used in a certain area but stored in a central storage facility far away from the point of use. The goal of the value-stream map is for the team to walk the process and identify what operators really need vs. what they receive.


Interested in developing a 5S program in your organization?    Contact us for all your training and implementation needs. 

ANSI Seeks Comments on Proposed ISO Standard on Consumer Call Centers      
Here’s an item of interest to us all. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO) has submitted a proposal to ISO for a new ISO standard on guidelines for consumer contact centers. As the U.S. member body to ISO, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) invites all interested stakeholders to submit comments on the proposal by Friday, June 15, 2012.

The proposed new work item, “Guidelines for customer contact centers,” would provide guidance for business process service centers, including front-end voice, multimedia, and back-office service providers, as well as all customer contact centers (call centers), whether an in-house (captive) center or a third-party operator (outsourcer).

The intent is to address issues identified in an ISO/COPOLCO/DEVCO survey held in 2009-2010 on customer contact centers. These issues include problems customers reported with accessing or receiving satisfactory help, and common frustrations with customer call centers.

All comments on the proposal should be sent to Steven P. Cornish, the ANSI senior director for international policy, at Feedback received by the June 15 deadline will be reviewed and compiled for the recommended ANSI position and comments, which will then be presented to the ANSI ISO Council (AIC) for formal approval.

Read the COPOLCO proposal.

ISO 14001 Environmental Standard Revision Underway      


The ISO 14001 Environmental Standard has begun the process for its second revision. Since published in 1996, and revised in 2004, it has been adopted by more than 250,000 certified users in 155 countries.

ISO/TC 207, the technical committee for ISO 14001, has asked its Working Group 5 that is responsible for the revision process to consider two significant pieces of work:

1. The High Level Structure for Management System Standards (MSS)

The aim of this work is to standardize the structure and core requirements of MSS to facilitate the integration of multiple MSS into an organization’s management system. Although new standards have been developed using this structure, the revision of ISO 14001 will be the first in which an existing MSS has been recast into the standardized format and text. 

2. The Final Report of the Future Challenges for EMS Study Group

This report evaluated the potential implications of evolving stakeholder expectations and new developments in the field of environmental management systems. Eleven themes were analyzed, including sustainable development, environmental performance improvement, legal compliance, strategic business management, conformity assessment, and national and international policy agendas.

The study group also analyzed the obstacles and opportunities to increase the use of ISO 14001 in small organizations, to control environmental impact in the value/supply chain, to engage stakeholders, and to communicate externally.

In addition to these two significant actions, the revision will retain and improve the basic principles and existing requirements of ISO 14001:2004. To see the Top 25 Recommendations being considered for the new ISO 14001 revision, go to the April 2012 article on pages 32-33 in the ISO Focus+ magazine.


In the News    

 SAE Standard Verifies Aerospace Electronics Parts 

To meet the needs of the global aerospace industry, SAE International has issued a new technical standard to combat the increasing volume of fraudulent and counterfeit electronic parts entering the aerospace supply chain. The new standard,Fraudulent/Counterfeit Electronic Parts-Tool for Risk Assessment of Distributors-ARP6178,” helps to ensure customer satisfaction with regard to the products manufactured by aerospace industry organizations. The standard requires that such products meet or exceed regulatory authority requirements; it essentially provides a checklist that buyers can use to evaluate parts brokers.

Webinars Addressing Global Compliance

TÜV Rheinland is hosting a series of no cost international approvals webinars addressing some of the key questions about global compliance programs: planning, readiness, and common pitfalls. Professionals involved in legal placement of products in global markets, including marketing, compliance, and engineering staff, are invited to join and discuss. For more information on webinar topics and registration click here


Ten Tips for Effectively Handling Customer Compliants

Ron Kaufman writes that one complaining customer actually represents many other customers who had the same problem, but didn’t complain. And because that’s true, you should try to uplift them every time. For every person who actually comes to complain to you, there is a quantum number who won’t come to you. They’re the ones who go off and tell somebody else, complain about you online, and take their business elsewhere.  Read more about these important ten tips


Training Courses

To see the course description, schedule, and on-line registration click on the course title below. We deliver onsite training for these courses and customized training to fit your specific needs.  We offer group discounts.  


View all our Courses

View Our Web Based E-Training Courses   

ISO 9001 Quality Management

Understanding and Implementing ISO9001:2008

ISO 9001:2008 Process Based Internal Auditor 

Documenting Your Management System

AS9100 Aviation, Space and Defense

Understanding and Implementing AS9100C (9110 &9120) Aviation, Space and Defense

AS9100C:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor

Documenting Your Management System 

ISO/TS 16949 Automotive

Understanding and Implementing ISO/TS16949:2009 Automotive

ISO/TS16949:2009 Process Based Internal Auditor
Documenting Your Management System 

ISO 14001 Environmental

Understanding and Implementing ISO14001:2004 Environmental
ISO14001:2004 Process Based Internal Auditor

Lean Enterprise and CI 

5S Five Pillars of a Lean Workplace Organization
Continuous Process Improvement
Lean Six Sigma
8 Disciplines (8D) of Problem Solving

ISO 13485 Medical Devices

Understanding and Implementing ISO 13485:2003 Medical Devices
ISO 13485 Process Based Internal Auditor 

ISO 27001 Information Security

Understanding and Implementing ISO 27001:2005 Information Security
ISO 27001 Process Based Internal Auditor 

All courses can be delivered at your company. Don’t see a course, location, or date that fits your needs?

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