Standardize

The clutter is gone. You’ve created a great system of organization. Your shop is spotless. Now you need a system that will integrate the first three pillars and make sure that they get done correctly.

Standardize creates a system of tasks and procedures that will ensure that the principles of 6S are performed on a daily basis.

We all have our own way of doing things. This kind of individuality is great in our personal lives because it makes life much more interesting and fun.

But non-conformity can be unproductive in the workplace. If your employees started doing things their own way, then things will start to get missed and
conditions will slowly start to deteriorate.

The Standardize pillar seeks to create a set of schedules and checklists that can be easily followed so that each step is performed exactly the same way every day. Each employee knows what he needs to do, when he needs to do it, and exactly how to do it. There is no room for uncertainty.

Standardize uses three steps to make sure that the 6S pillars are getting done consistently and correctly.

Make sure that each employee knows his responsibilities. If they don’t know exactly what is expected of them, then how can they do it?

They should have a clear understanding of their daily and weekly Sort, Set to Order and Shine tasks. Their responsibilities should be clearly
written out on a checklist or a chart so that it can be easily accessed throughout the day.

Make it a part of their daily routine. If you train your employees correctly, they will be executing the steps of 6S without even thinking about it-
‘That wrench is out of place- its home is here.’ -or- ‘I know the next tool I need is the screwdriver because my tools are stored in the order that I use them.’ No extra thought is needed; they flow through their daily routine because they can see that it makes sense.

This is one of 6S’s most powerful aspects – that it’s a visual model. Each tool has an outlined home and each pathway is marked with yellow lines. Vision is our dominant sense, and because 6S uses colors and lines and labels to organize, following the steps becomes second nature very easily. Combined with the proper training, your employees will begin to execute these steps without even thinking.

Periodic evaluation. Once the pillars are in place, you will have to evaluate the performance at regular intervals. You can either form a committee made up of employees of different departments, or assign it to department supervisors. Either way, you will need a system to ensure that tasks are consistently getting done.

Standardize is essential to the success of your 6S implementation. If your staff has procedures to follow to complete the steps, you will ensure long-term
success and reap all of the rewards of the six pillars.

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