5S is a continual improvement philosophy that focuses on workplace organising to facilitate the achievement of Customer Delight and organisations KPIs such as Quality, Costs, Delivery, Safety, Morale and Productivity (QCDSMP), on a sustainable mode. It remains the foundation or launching pad for future and more complex improvement activities.
Blitz Kaizen is a methodology whereby implementation is given a ‘steroids effect’ to jumpstart the improvement activities to be rapid and results-oriented. Hence the term Blitz rapid, focused, short-term strike at the issues or problems to be tackled. Kaizen is a Japanese term and it meant small, incremental improvement. It also means ‘to take it apart, and put it back together in good conditions. Combining the two terms, Blitz Kaizen means “small, focus, incremental improvement at rapid pace”
Marry the philosophy and execution approach; you’ll end up with a practical and effective weapon to launch the 5S implementation at the shop floor. Briefly, this is how it works :
1. Select a focus area for 5S implementation – a pilot project
2. Identify the process owners and full-time participants for the pilot project
3. Perform Pre-Blitz preparations with the process owners
4. Execute Blitz improvement event covering the 1st 3Ss’ over a 2 to 6 days period
5. Standardise the gains
The benefits of a Blitz Kaizen event mostly resulted in the following:
1. Physically transformed the workplace in a matter of workdays
2. Motivated and confident workforce as they successfully transformed the workplace
3. Change resistance reduced as workplace need to be ready in a matter of days
4. Improved performance results in terms of QCDSMP
5. Generate enthusiasm and team spirit in execution
The 5S Blitz Kaizen approach is particularly effective when change resistance are high and the implementation needs to be replicated quickly over the whole organisation in a relatively short space of time. It is no wonder that such approach are gaining acceptance widely among organisations that needs to see rapid transformations as this approach requires a shorter but more effective learning curve.
5S Blitz Kaizen : A Case Study
An established multi-national aerospace company has successfully applied ROAR in their improvement initiatives – adopting the philosophy and the execution aspects as highlighted above.
Initially, there were resistance but as projects are implemented and the benefits were forthcoming, more shop floor leaders were interested to be involved in the initiatives, including those from the office. As such, an annual schedule was created by the Continuous Improvement team to help facilitate the ROAR projects.
Some of the benefits obtained are as follows :
1. Capacity increased by 30%
2. Walk distance reduced by 60%
3. Space usage reduction by 15%
4. Manpower efficiency enhanced by 25%
5. Searching time for tools, documents and parts reduced by 80%
Let’s also hear from the process owners on their views of the changes that happened after the ROAR projects :
“Min-Max display for Packaging Boxes help me to place orders whenever required”
“The searching time has now reduced. My workstation is more efficient and clean.”
“Working in team & sharing of ideas together; which include feedbacks are important before any improvements can be implemented.”
Having read the above success story, are you excited then? What is your response? Would you like to take the plunge and do something different and extraordinary? We encourage you to try out yourself albeit, a smaller scale, or contact us – we love to meet up with you and further share how we can be of service.
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Training / Online training / Capacity building