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What Is 5S?
When I think of the 5S Methodology, it always reminds me of that television show Clean House on the Style Network. If you haven’t seen it, the show’s TV personalities find a house that is in much disarray (actually total disarray) and help the family clean it out through garage sales and remodeling tips. During the one-hour show, a family that had no idea where to begin any task, is left with a clean slate to organize their home and living spaces.
The 5S Methodology uses sort of the same in concept. If things are organized, structured, planned for, kept orderly, and clean, it’s easier to get the job done. Utilized first in Japan by Toyota, 5S has been sweeping the world of manufacturing but it can be used in projects or processes as well.
To implement the 5S Methodology, just like any other project management methodology, you must have a vision and a sample of a mission statement for 5S. When writing your 5S mission statement, keep in mind that a vision and mission statement are two different things. Your vision is the “what" you want to do and the mission is the “how" you will complete that vision, or how you will entice customers that they need what you have to sell.
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A 5S Company Finds Their Mission
One family-owned Internet store, the 5 S Store wanted to offer 5S tools such as bins, storage racks, tools, labels, posters, and 5S safety items to companies who wanted to go 5S. They admitted after dreaming up their vision statement, they forgot the mission and began ordering inventory from many vendors incurring large shipping costs and lots of inventory with no organized place to store it.
The family sat back and came up with this mission statement: “To provide high quality products and superior service to individuals looking to implement 5S organization throughout their facility." With this mission, they were able to complete their own vision by organizing and readjusting their ordering and inventory problems to a more streamlined process, thus enabling quick delivery on orders. But what about your product, project or process? What is a good sample of a mission statement for 5S?
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Creating Your Own Mission Statement
Sort of conjoined with manufacturing, if you have a widget that is different than any other widget out there, that’s your vision, but how will you sell it? Now you need a mission. Say your new widget is a machine that helps people set timers in their entire homes so they can skip small tasks upon waking such as watering the garden, making the coffee, feeding the dog or recording their favorite TV show.
You already know you have a fantastic machine that will save time but how will you sell that idea? Consider this mission statement: “To aid people everywhere in streamlining morning tasks through 5S automation with a goal to get them out the door with a touch of a button." That’s certainly enticing and by utilizing the 5S Methodology to build your widget machine, you can keep costs reasonable and efficiency high.
Say your boss sends you to the “land of nowhere," the messy storage room, and your job is to clean and organize it. Well, here your boss claimed the vision, but what mission will you use to complete the project? First you might take a look at your organization and what it does and needs from that storage room. “To create an interactive storage space where inventory and supplies are available on demand through a 5S process that is constantly maintained." Wow, your boss would be proud of that sample mission statement for a 5S project.
By utilizing the 5 steps in 5S, Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, your project will be complete in no time and integrated through the usage of the 5S Methodology.
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Creating a 5S Mission Statement for a Process
Say you’re a used car dealer and you need a better process to get the customer from the salesperson to the finance director to the delivery process. In the past, your process fails miserably because no one is organized or ready when called upon. When it’s time for John the salesperson to pass the customer to Jane the finance director, she’s out to lunch. When Jane is ready to pass on the customer to Dave the delivery guy, he’s already gone home for the day. Let’s face it, your delivery process is a mess.
Why not start with a mission that says, “To ensure each customer experiences a standardized delivery process that is swift, organized, and orderly with an emphasis on customer satisfaction." That’s a great mission statement, but now you need to utilize 5S in your delivery process. Here’s the great part of the 5S Methodology. Again by using the 5 steps in 5S you can determine via shifts of personnel who will work as a team in an orderly and efficient fashion to ensure that no customer is left standing or waiting.
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Do You Really Need a 5S Mission Statement?
I’ve seen and written many mission statements in my time as a business owner. Some were for companies, others were for departments. The answer to the question do you need a sample of a vision statement for 5S is yes.
If you expect to implement 5S into your product, project or process, first you must have the all-important sell or idea on how you want to deliver your 5S product or service. If you can’t explain why your “how" idea is a good idea, you’ll never get to the 5S Methodology process; you’ll never implement anything that even resembles it.
Every streamlined, efficient management methodology consists of explaining and understanding the mission or the how first and then moving on to the nuts and bolts or detail of that how.
In my business as a car dealer, I try to be Agile. I want processes to be short so customers don’t have to wait. While the 5S Methodology would work just as well, I may use a Vision statement that says “To become synonymous with driving in New Mexico." My sample mission statement for a 5S might be, “To ensure every customer who enters our dealership has a fast, accurate, and acceptable buying experience that meets every automotive need they have before they leave the store." Now that’s something I might work on!