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The Park Avenue Solutions Blog

2 min read

Clean Up for Savings (with 5S)

Apr 13, 2022 8:34:54 AM

With today’s economy, households are finding ways to cut out excess expenses such as the daily latte or going out to dinner. Families are identifying where their money is being wasted by looking at unnecessary habits and then making changes that impact their bottom line (budgets).

Businesses need to do the same by identifying processes that are non-value added. It is possible to survive and possibly thrive in this economy. Lean principles have been used successfully to make improvements to operational functions; which ultimately lead to increased end-customer value.

So where do you start? Get organized!

Work Place Organization (WPO, also known as 5s or 6s) is a great way to begin any improvement initiative. WPO uses a systematic approach to eliminate unneeded items, and then organize the remaining needed items.

This methodology has proven results in improving workplace safety, employee morale, throughput, and quality, Not to mention it can also be very impressive to visiting customers and prospective clients.

Here are the basics to Work Place Organization (5s ... or 6s):

  • 5S Workplace Organization steps infographic from Park Avenue Solutions business process improvement consultants and trainers

    Sort. Remove all unneeded items from the workplace. Unneeded items can be donated to your favorite charity or disposed of properly.
  • Set In Order the remaining items. Make a place for everything and put everything in its place.
  • Shine your workplace by thoroughly cleaning and inspecting everything in the work area. Maintain the improvements by
  • Standardize clean-up by incorporating the first 3S’s into daily activities using a disciplined structure. Check for potential
  • Sustain the order: Continue to support efforts through daily or weekly checks.
  • Safety. Sometimes listed separately as the sixth S, safety means eliminating any potential hazards in the workspace.

Where are the savings in Work Place Organization?

Let’s say each employee spends 10 minutes per day looking for items/tools to perform their job. Here are calculations for potential Lean Savings for a company with 100 employees:

Time wasted = 10 min/day ~ 50 min /wk
100 employees X 50 min /wk = 5,000 min/wk ~ 83 hrs
Average pay = $18 per hr
83 hours/wk X $18 /hour = $1,245/wk
Yearly Loss = $71,712

Work Place Organization is the foundation for Lean Principles and is a great first step for any company looking to become more efficient in its operations.

Need help getting your team on board? We can help. 


Leigh Ann Schildmeier
Written by Leigh Ann Schildmeier

Leigh Ann Schildmeier specializes in implementing continuous improvement and risk mitigation strategies that help clients increase efficiency, improve quality and service, and increase profits. A frequent speaker and coach on process improvement topics, she is a certified Lean Practitioner, a Six Sigma Black Belt, and a Kata Coach with more than 20 years of experience across a range of industries, including healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. Leigh Ann is the founder and president of Park Avenue Solutions, a business process improvement consulting firm that works to empower excellence in businesses and teams.



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