K&N Electric Motors, Inc.
Editor’s Note: This is the sixth and final in the “5+1 S Series” of articles written by EASA’s Management Services Committee to provide “lean service” resources to members.
Over the last few months, “5+1 S” has served as a small but powerful acronym to describe the removal and continued avoidance of waste in all our business practices. Currents readers have had the opportunity to learn about the five “S” goals of sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain in previous articles focusing on lean service. In each of those articles, there has always been a reference to the additional “+1 S” focus on safety.
You may have wondered why it wasn’t just modified and referred to as the “6S Series.” That’s a good point, but there’s more to consider.
That “+1 S” should always be kept in mind when working on each of the first “5S” goals. We don’t want to get to the end of our “5S” work and then ask ourselves what we can do to make our work safer. No! The “+1 S” should direct us to consider safety during each stage of the “5S” process. When we sort, we should question what tooling may not be safe to use. During straighten, we should consider how or if we should place that heavy object on the shadow board at that height; will someone hurt themselves?
Throughout the process, the “+1 S” invites the team to include safety in the conversation as a focus rather than as an afterthought. The inclusion of safety, while improving processes, enhances a company’s safety culture with minimal costs while recognizing amazing savings or cost avoidance.
The Management Services Committee challenges you to take the first small step into your lean service journey and implement at least one “S” in the “5+1 S Series.” It doesn’t have to be a big project. If fact, you’re better off to start small and enjoy the victory when you’ve achieved all of the “S” goals.