Lean Warehousing and the 5S Strategy - S.W. Betz

Lean Warehousing and the 5S Strategy
The lean warehousing ideology and the 5S strategy is designed to make facilities as efficient as possible.

The future of warehouse layout and design is the ideology of lean warehousing. This strategy aims to do more with less and streamline basic processes. The cornerstone of the lean warehousing movement is the 5S strategy. This aims to make any problems visible and is defined by a clean, organized warehouse that encourages communication, efficient warehouse operations, and excellence in training. Let’s take a close look at each of the five “S’s” that define the 5S strategy.

1. Sort

Old methods of thinking used established categories as a basic sorting system, but this is not consistent with the lean warehousing ideology. A supply chain engineer can bring a critical perspective in to help you see your sorting system in a new light and make it as efficient as possible. Once the sorting system is in place, the next step is utilizing all available space to make sure that every item has a storage place.

2. Set

The lean warehousing strategy values efficiency in all aspects of warehouse design. This facet of the 5S strategy encourages a streamlined setup of your warehouse arranged in a proper order relative to your picking process. The shortest possible distance between each step is ideal.

3. Shine

The most noticeable aspect of a lean warehouse is how clean it is. Cleanliness allows staff to free up space in their facility and make their processes more productive overall. Regular cleaning processes can include safety inspections to make your facility safer as well as equipment checks designed to increase the longevity of your tools.

4. Standardize

Standardization is one of the most critical pieces of the 5S strategy in lean warehousing, and nowhere is this more evident than standardized labels. The labels in a lean warehouse are standardized to include all of the important information about a container or product with nothing extraneous.

5. Sustain

Sustaining a lean warehouse involves constant evaluation and reassessment. The goal, after all, is to be as efficient as possible, and this means that results need to be consistent with this goal. If the metrics aren’t there, you’ll need to assess your processes in order to find out where your facility can improve. This will yield better results and guarantee success for your facility.

A Few Examples of Products that can Help Companies Achieve the 5S Strategy

  • Racking Systems – Effective racking systems allow warehouses to maintain order and cleanliness while maximizing usable space.
  • Floor Tape – Create easily identifiable walkways, ground storage spaces, etc. with floor tape.
  • Lockers – Lockers allow your employees to store their items in a designated space.
  • Most material handling products help and encourage the strategies of 5S and lean warehousing.

Interested in products that will help you achieve the 5S strategy? Contact S.W. Betz!

The S.W. Betz Company, Inc. has been providing businesses in Maryland and beyond with all of their essential Weighing, Material Handling, Dock, and Warehouse equipment since 1933. We also offer warehouse layout and design logistics solutions from experienced, knowledgeable experts.
We carry a variety of top warehouse equipment brands to help with your design logistics, such as Wesco, Magliner, Cogan, Quantum Storage Systems, and more.
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