5S Solutions for Warehouses: For the Visual Workplace
Today’s warehouses deal with a myriad of challenges that weren’t around just a few short years ago. Between supply chain concerns and escalating customer expectations, there is no room for error or inefficiency these days.
Nuanced strategies can help enterprises fulfill these heightened expectations. Among the most important? A tried-and-tested lean manufacturing approach known as the 5S methodology. Emphasizing workplace organization and harmonious spaces, this model draws on a series of simple, yet meaningful Japanese terms:
Does this concept seem difficult to implement? Dasko Label can help by providing guidance, plus access to the best tools and strategies. Get in touch to learn more about 5S and everything it involves.
- Sort (Seiri). In this context, the term ‘sort’ involves classifying each object, with the intention of removing clutter when possible and ensuring that only necessary items remain.
- Set in order (Seiton). This stage aims to limit the time and effort wasted when looking for poorly organized items. Based on the classifications achieved during the sort phase, a specific place should be designated for every item.
- Shine (Seiso). This stage focuses on deep cleaning, with the goal of revealing otherwise hidden problems. This is accomplished by using the right cleaning tools and committing to routine cleaning.
- Standardize (Seike). This stage is all about confirming that key tasks are carried out in a repeatable manner. Through simple, easy-to-follow routines (plus clear instructions) even the most complicated processes can be standardized.
- Sustain (Shitsuke). 5S represents an ongoing process, meant to keep warehouses clean, organized, and accountable far into the future. The sustain stage never ends — nor should it — but a storyboard may be helpful for remaining on track or even achieving continuous improvements.
5S Products from Dasko
While adopting a 5S mindset and policies provides a positive start, it takes carefully selected tools and equipment to put that philosophy in place. Dasko provides a range of products that facilitate 5S ideals which include:
- Aisle markings. Offering the ultimate visual cue, aisle markings (often involving floor marking tape) allow for seamless navigation of the modern warehouse environment. With these reminders, employees should be able to almost intuitively figure out where they need to go and how they should get there — while steering clear of forklifts and other potential hazards. OSHA color code guidance also facilitates a safer warehouse.
- Floor signs. Providing much-needed warnings, 5S floor signs are essential in potentially hazardous areas and can also be used to outline workstations and other important workspaces. Floor markings maintain the flow of warehouse operations and may prevent accidents.
- Banners. Warehouse workers can benefit greatly from visual displays denoting the 5S principles. Without these reminders, it can be difficult for busy employees to remember to implement 5S ideals. Banners let employees know how 5S is implemented and how they can contribute to this effort.
- Mobile carts. Flexible and versatile, mobile carts can be used to resolve a variety of concerns that might get in the way of successful 5S implementation. These are great for facilitating portable reminders throughout all areas of the work environment.
- Floor tape. Available in many colors to fulfill a variety of functions (for example, red to indicate danger zones), floor tape provides a simple, almost intuitive indication of how different warehouse areas or zones should function.
- Shadow boards. Offering reminders about where key equipment or tools are situated, shadow boards are a must in any modern warehouse.
- Station boards. Remind employees of specific procedural instructions with shadow boards, which are highly customizable.
- Red tags. Questionable items can be temporarily kept in red tag areas, which allow for prompt identification and also make it easier to get rid of anything that is redundant or unnecessary. EZ pull red tag labels amplify this effect by detailing which items are currently in the red tag area and why.
Benefits of 5S in Warehousing
These days 5S does not merely provide a competitive edge in the world of warehousing — it is essential for keeping up with today’s quickly changing business environment. This is not the only framework available, but it’s one of the most realistic to implement. It offers a myriad of benefits including:
- Increased efficiency. In the average warehouse, a lot of valuable time is wasted trying to determine where items are located or how to access them. 5S brings clarity to this while also optimizing placement, so there is never any question as to how various essentials are stored or retrieved.
- Enhanced safety. Many warehouse accidents are prompted by clutter and other entirely avoidable obstructions. 5S tackles these issues head-on, so work areas are far safer to navigate. It also encourages compliance with crucial safety practices, such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), access to first aid, and insight into the fire extinguisher location and general fire safety procedures.
- Reduced waste. Redundant items are far too common in far too many warehouses, but these can be avoided if they are promptly identified and removed. 5S provides a systematic approach to accomplishing this while also bypassing other forms of waste: wasted time, effort, and resources.
- Improved morale. Not only does a disorganized environment look unsightly, it forces employees to work harder while achieving less-than-stellar results. The 5S method leads to functional and aesthetic improvements — and both have the capacity to dramatically improve morale.
Dasko Can Help
Interested in implementing the 5S philosophy but not sure where to start? Our team at Dasko Label can help. We offer a variety of warehousing products, plus guidance to help you determine which 5S supplies are right for your facility and how they can be integrated in the modern warehouse environment.
Reach out today to learn more about our products or to take the next step with a consultation on implementing a 5S program in your facility.