Implementing 5S Concept in Warehouse Management
xThe practice of 5S aims to embed the values of organization, neatness, cleaning, standardization and discipline into the workplace (Osada, 1991). Besides, the 5S concept also widely apply into warehouse management because the 5S concept are emphasize on the effective organize and arrangement of the item in the warehouse in order to eliminate the unnecessary items from the warehouse for improve the efficiency of the storage methods. The implementation of 5S concept also can uncover hidden problems that may have otherwise remained unnoticed.
According to Rod Gapp, Ron Fisher and Kaoru Kobayashi (2008), the benefit and advantages of implementing the 5S can be summarize as follow: •Orderliness (seiri and seiton) – can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the warehouse operation, productivity and cycle time performance by reducing the employees workload and human errors through simplify the process in the material handling in order to reduce the warehouse order cycle time and increase inventory turnover.
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Cleanliness (seiso and seiketsu) – to maximize effectiveness by contributing to a healthier life, safety and wellbeing as well as enhancing transparency. The comfortable working condition can motivate the employees to work hard for the company that can directly increase the warehouse productivity performance. In addition, the cleanliness of the warehouse can prevent the pollution cases from happening to care for the welfare and right of the employees that working in the warehouse.
Moreover, the cleanliness and well arrangement of the inventory can directly increase the transparency because all the inventory are visible for reduce the stealing cases, increase the put away and inventory accuracy. •Discipline (shitsuke) – through continuous training and education to the employees can enhance their morale, knowledge, and skills which lead to increased quality of work life and work standards (Osada, 1991). The training program to the employees can directly increase the productivity of he warehouse because the employees are adapted to the effective skills in material handling and they can eliminate the unnecessary step in order to improve the warehouse order cycle time and reach to the cost effectiveness. The well discipline among the employees can increase the unity level among the employees that come from various departments and finally eliminate the communication barrier among them that lead to the well interaction among them.
There are 5 elements in the 5S concept that should be implementing by the company in order to improve the performance of the warehouse and achieve costs effectiveness. These 5 elements in 5S concept will be discussed and summarize as follow: •Sort – (Seiri) – The first S focused on eliminating unnecessary items from the warehouse to increase the space utilization of the warehouse because the cost space of the warehouse is very expensive that including the utilities, wages of employees, and insurances costs.
The products was placed strategically so that heavy products could be picked first and smaller lighter items picked last, in order to eliminate the need to restack pallets and avoid any accident to occur. The walk paths were set up in the warehouse with no loop back during order picking to complete an order. Man up order pickers were used to eliminate the need for ladders, and to assist with order picking from level 2 and 3. •Set In Order (Seiton) – The second S focuses on efficient and effective storage methods.
Racking was purchased and erected in the warehouse to increase the available space in the warehouse and wide aisles is very important to allow fast movement for picking and replenishment (and use all available space) and to support the ability to use all materials handling equipment in all areas of the warehouse in order to increase put away accuracy and minimize the physical effort during material handling process. •Shine (Seiso) – The third S is to thoroughly clean the warehouse and this elements are strongly emphasize that all racking were fixed to the floor and each location was labeled.
No product was allowed in the aisles and no product was allowed into the pick face from bulk until all stretch wrap was removed. Pyramid picking was not allowed and the cleanliness of the warehouse is the responsibility of all the staffs in the warehouse. The staffs in the warehouse are requiring cleaning the floor with an electric sweeper and not a broom and everyone takes turns as part of their duties. •Standardize (Seiketsu) –The fourth S is standardizing practice in warehouse in order to maintain the first three S’s.
Organization, orderliness, and cleanliness are maintained and made habitual by instituting those duties into regular work routines. The methods need to be standardized and followed company-wide. Once the first three S’s are in place, standardize the details and create a plan to maintain and continue improving everything. This plan should include creating procedures and simple daily checklists, which are posted very visibly in each work area. The checklist should serve as a visual reminder to ensure that the daily 5S requirements are being met. Sustain (Shitsuke) – The fifth “S” (Sustain) allows an organization to sustain the 5S program due to the human nature is to resist change and some companies implement 5S for several months only to find themselves soon back to their previous habits. To make 5S work, it is critical that performance is measured and that top management is committed to ensure that 5S becomes part of the company culture, makes periodic walk through inspections, audits and posts results.