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Lean and Green

by Marcy Rizzo

May 5, 2010

By Marcy Rizzo

A few months ago; SAP Insider conducted a survey to gauge where subscribers to the SCMExpert, and our annual Logistics and Supply Chain Management Conference audience stood on sustainability issues. Are there lean and “green” initiatives being conducted within manufacturing organizations and to what extend, and at what cost.

We are still evaluating survey results, and I will report back to you with those findings.  In the meantime, further research is proving interesting, as I begin to scope the critical content areas for our next seasons’ events (2011).  

I came across a compelling article from a TEC white paper. The link and summary are listed below:
     "While the need for sustainable development is affecting how organizations do business, the idea of environmental and corporate responsibility as value drivers is still relatively new. Many companies are just beginning to adopt an approach that provides measurable results. Learn how reducing waste and creating efficiencies within your company can make a difference to the environment, the economy, and your bottom line."

 I pulled out this excerpt from the above mentioned white paper! It seems a recipe for success both at home and a work!

 The "5S" Philosophy
Based on 5 Japanese words that begin with the letter S, the 5S philosophy focuses on effective workplace organization and standardized work procedures. 5S helps businesses simplify the work environment and reduce waste while improving quality, efficiency, and safety.

  1. Sort (seiri): Organizing the work area, leaving only the tools and materials necessary to perform daily activities. When sorting is well implemented, the communication between workers is improved and product quality and productivity are increased.
  2. Set in order (seiton): The orderly arrangement of required items so they are easily accessible for anyone to find. Orderliness eliminates waste in both production and clerical activities.
  3. Shine (seiso): Keeping everything clean and tidy helps maintain a safer work area, and problem areas can be quickly identified.
  4. Standardize (seiketsu): Creating a consistent approach for carrying out tasks and procedures. Orderliness is at the core of standardization and is maintained by visual controls such as signs and poster boards.
  5. Sustain (****uke): Without sustaining the discipline and commitment applied in all the other stages, your workplace can easily revert back to being a mess.

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