Happy Holidays!


December 2004

The First Step with Lean Manufacturing:  The 5S's

Lean Manufacturing First Step: The 5S's

by Ray Mikulak

A 5S effort is usually one of the early steps in a comprehensive Lean Manufacturing initiative — as well it should be. Lean Manufacturing strives to reduce waste of any type. Implementation of the 5S’s tackles wastes by eliminating time spent on scavenger hunts (searching for tools, supplies, and materials that are not where they should be), reducing in-process travel times, ending damage due to cluttered and crowded storage areas, and reducing obsolescence due to disorganized storage practices.

Application of the 5S’s is universal. A 5S effort will eliminate waste in any operation. It's not just for manufacturing – the same techniques apply to manufacturing support (office) processes and service-delivery organizations. Regardless of what type of organization you are involved in, 5S's should be an integral part to your improvement efforts.

For more information on what the 5S's are and how you can apply them at your site see our 5S Resource Center.

Ray Mikulak is president of Resource Engineering, Inc.  You can contact him at 1-800-810-8326 or 1-802-496-5888 or by e-mail.

Did you know?

 Companies report 5S efforts have:

Product Focus from Carolyn Burke

The 5S's:  Workplace Organization

Some may ask: “Isn’t a training program on 5S overkill? Isn’t this just about housekeeping?” Well, the 5S’s are much more than just housekeeping; the 5S’s represent a powerful approach to improve the workplace through organization, proper arrangement, and attention to detail. Housekeeping implies cleaning after a mess has been created — a reactive approach.

A 5S approach is proactive. Orderliness is designed into processes, designated storage locations for tools, supplies, and materials are selected and designed based on a well thought out rationale, and preventive measures are implemented to ensure the work area stays clean, reducing the need for conventional housekeeping.

A structured training program consistently delivered will help put you on the road to 5S success. Want to try out a free 5S training lesson? Click here.

Carolyn Burke is Sr. Customer Service Representative.  She can be reached toll free directly at 866-791-1003 or by e-mail.

Quality Outside of the Box

Mise En Place - 5S's for the Culinary World

If you have never worked in a commercial kitchen you might not have any idea of what is going on behind the scenes in a restaurant. Diners in a fine restaurant may be comfortably relaxed enjoying their first glass of wine, but the kitchen is in a controlled chaos mode. What keeps the kitchen from uncontrolled chaos is mise en place (pronounced MEEZ ahn plahs), the French phrase that translates as “to put in place.”

Mise en place means assembling all of the ingredients, pots and pans, plates, and serving pieces needed for a particular period. More than that though, mise en place is a state of mind. According to the Culinary Institute of America’s tome The New Professional Chef…”Someone who has truly grasped the concept is able to keep many tasks in mind simultaneously, weighing and assigning each its proper value and priority.”

Mise en place sounds like the 5S’s to us. Having a clean and organized work area that only has what is needed to do the job eliminates a lot of wasted time and frustration in getting the job done.


Robin's Training Tip

Blended Learning

People learn in many different ways. Most often we learn by doing, but there is also classroom training, on-the-job training, mentoring, and computer-based training.

So, what is the best way for employees to learn? Actually, there is not just one “best” way to learn. The teaching method depends on the learner, the topic, the time, the cost, the number of people to train and a whole host of other factors. But, one thing is for sure – rarely will people learn from just a single teaching method.

Companies today are starting to understand that and have invented a whole new buzzword for this phenomenon – blended learning. Simply put, blended learning recognizes the importance of providing multiple vehicles for training vs. the one shot classroom approach that used to be the cornerstone of the corporate training department.

There are many benefits to blended learning, but the two most important are cost savings and effectiveness. Many companies are using web- and computer-based training as one part of the blended training process. Computer-based training can provide an excellent baseline understanding of topics that can then be enhanced and tailored with an application workshop. Follow that up with a little on-the-job coaching and your learners will have effectively transferred what they learned to their job. After all, that’s the objective of corporate training.

For more information on Blended Learning keep an eye out for our upcoming Not Quite White Paper "Blended Learning for the Rest of Us."  It will be out in early January.

Robin McDermott is director of training for Resource Engineering, Inc.  You can contact her at 1-800-810-8326 or 1-802-496-5888 or by e-mail.

Specials for December 2004

INSTANT ACCESS now available!  Thanks to a recent upgrade in our online store, now when you purchase web-based training you will receive immediate access to the course(s).  If you need to renew access to a course or to one of our Personal Training Libraries, you can do that as well on the online store.  As long as you use the same e-mail in the "Ship To" information your training account will immediately be updated with the new purchase.

FREE Reference Guide  Buy a Five Pack of any of our Reference Guides and get a complimentary copy of our 5S Reference Guide.

Two FREE Weeks  Purchase any individual online course or any personal training library and get two additional training weeks for FREE.

Go to the QualityTrainingPortal online Store

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