It’s time to take it to the next level. Where you eliminated clutter with Sort and you organized with Set in Order, now it’s time sanitize with Shine.

In this step, Shine literally means to remove all the dirt and the grime and to keep it that way on daily basis. You want to get it clean and keep it clean.

When you implement this step, two things will happen. First, your employees will love coming to work in such a clean and bright environment. And second,
because you are keeping the equipment and your surroundings in such great shape, you will have fewer injuries and fewer equipment breakdowns.

And that means greater productivity and fewer costs.

With the 6S system, cleaning is everyone’s responsibility. Although you may still use a janitorial staff to tackle the daily large-scale jobs, the detailed cleaning will be done by your employees. You must train your staff to view dirt and chaos as an intolerable situation. It must be a culture that is followed from the CEO down to the apprentice.

Standardize your cleaning program for best results. Train your employees how to do it correctly. Make sure that they know what they are responsible for and give them the tools to do the job. Utilize checklists and diagrams for consistency.

But cleaning is just the first part of Shine. The daily Shine ritual should also include inspection and routine maintenance. As your employees are doing
their daily cleaning routine, they should be inspecting the tools and machinery for damage or defects as well. Include it in the daily checklist to make sure it gets done.

Periodic routine maintenance should also be done at this time. Some examples would be to check the oil level in the machinery, tighten up belts, hoses, nuts and bolts, or to check if tools need sharpening.

The goal for Shine is to keep everything in great working order to ensure that it doesn’t break down and that it lasts for as long as possible. Clean and properly maintained tools and machines also greatly increase the safety level in the workplace. Less injuries and less down time equate to higher morale and higher productivity.

What if an employee sees a pool of oil that wasn’t there before, or notices a safety hazard? If it’s a quick fix, put a maintenance tag on it on notify your
supervisor. If it is something that needs further evaluation, there should be a maintenance log that you can fill out that will ensure further action.

And don’t forget your computers and other office equipment. They are some of your most valuable and important items. Teach your employees how to clean and maintain them properly. They need to be defragmented and dusted periodically to keep them in prime running order.

Everything is coming together. The groundwork has been set for a successful 5S implementation. Now we move on to the pillar that will be the glue that keeps it all together: Standardize.

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