Overview of SS577
Water is a scarce and precious resource in Singapore. With the increasing population and growing demand for water, there is a need to manage this scarce resource efficiently for the generations to come. In pursuing an environmentally sustainable path to growth and development, Singapore has developed the world’s first standard to manage this precious resource – SS 577:2012 on Water Efficiency Management System.
This is the new standard to provide guidelines for implementing a robust Water Efficiency Management System (WEMS). This standard will provide public and private sector with management strategies to recognize water demands, increase water usage efficiency, reduce costs and improve water efficiency performance.
SS 577 is modeled after the ISO 50001:2011 standards, using the Plan-Do-Check-Act Principle for continual improvement on the management of the water resources. It specifies applicable requirements on water use and consumption, including design, measurement, documentation and monitoring of equipment, process and system to achieve continual improvement in water efficiency performance. This standard allows integration with other management systems such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, ISO 50001 and OHSAS 18001.
Benefits of implementing SS577
SS 577 provides uncountable benefits - both tangible and intangible. A typical organisation would enjoy the following:
• Increased awareness of the importance to use water efficiently and sustainably;
• Adopted systematic approach to manage water efficiency within the organization;
• Employed water efficient design and practices to reduce water consumption;
• Reduction of operating costs through water efficiency, leading to savings and a more profitable
• Improved corporate image among regulators, customer and the public; and
• Opportunity to be awarded the PUB’s “Water Efficient Building (Gold)” certification.
Considerations for implementation
There is no prerequisite for an organization to implement SS577. Organizations that currently have a Water Efficient Manager, or are certified to either ISO14001 or ISO50001 will be able to incorporate the various principles to implement SS 577 with ease.
It is highly recommended to be adopted for implementation in organizations with the following characteristics:
• Huge water demand due to usage of large quantity of water in daily operations;
• Absence of, or inadequate, water efficient practices being implemented;
• Looking to get certified to the BCA Green Mark Scheme;
• Striving to achieve Water Efficient Building (Gold) Certification; and
• Currently certified to ISO14001 and/or ISO50001 and looking to better manage water efficiency.
Overview of SS577
Have you had times thinking how our dynamic body communicate?
We communicate using our five senses. We see, we hear, we feel, we smell and we taste of the information, make ‘sense’ of it and then act on it.
Communication is about getting the response that sender wanted to get from the receiver. One of thing that we usually learned in communication skills is about influencing. So, does this means the higher influencing skill a person possess the more effective communication it would be? If yes, how this can be created?
Influencing is about building rapport. What is rapport? Rapport is about openness and trust. It encourages participation or involvement, within which people can communicate or respond freely. Building rapport can be
-mirroring body language such as eye contact, arm movements, body posture
-matching voice pace, tonality and volume
-matching use of language, and
We, human have the natural ability to create or destroy rapport. When two people are in rapport, their bodies and words have tendency to match each other. When matches, people are like each other, they would ‘like’ each other. We do not have to like the other person to create rapport.
Once they are matched or engaged, it builds a bridge between both of them and makes the communication meaningful and responded. Gaining rapport is the ability to draw responses. Any mismatch cannot not ensure the message received is the same message sent.
Traditional manufacturing, which involves big batch production, is often referred to as a “push” system. The “push” approach has individual processes working towards individual process schedules and plans without considering the real-time status and requirements of the production processes. As a result, work-in-progress (WIP) tends to accumulate and often lead to inventory flooding production areas. Other side-effects are finished goods stores bursting with slow-moving inventory or excess stock and the inability for the production facility to cope with a high-mix demand. Then there is the constant frustration of shortages of products and parts needed and excess stock of what is not.
In contrast, a “pull” system works on matching the production rate to demand on the production system ie. what is needed in the next downstream process. This is an effective way to avoid overproduction. The approach is to match the rate of raw material uptake to the rate of consumption, balance up all the process throughput within the value stream to match the order delivery rate, and move the material through the production facility and out the door as fast as possible. The ultimate benefit is just-in-time manufacturing with just sufficient inventory, a short lead-time, flexibility to react to changing customer requirements and getting all this done at a reduced cost. And this is the answer to the high mix demand of today’s customers!
How does a production facility get to that point? Eliminating the 7 classic operational wastes is the first step towards a “pull” system.
Table 1 : The 7 Classic Operational Waste
Various Lean Manufacturing techniques and tools can be used to eliminate such wastes. Changeover time reduction, error proofing, work standardization, 5S, work engineering methods, cellular manufacturing and flow-based manufacturing are just some of the tools commonly used by organisations to move towards an environment conducive to “pull”.
“Pull” systems utilize a pull mechanism that can be initiated at any point of the value stream and is synchronized with customer demand. In its simplest form, such signalling methods, often referred to as kanban, are made up of cards or lights that initiate the WIP movement through the value stream. Today, there are software programmes that can be triggered by electronic kanbans to execute procedures such as ordering of raw material and components, scheduling production lots for replenishment purposes, or simply to move WIP from one production station to another. In high product mix conditions, load levelling (or Heijunka) enable the manufacturer to produce different products in sequence to match customer delivery requirements. The greatest benefit of “pull” production is achieved when this approach is applied across different organisations in that supply chain.
Achieving pull production takes discipline, effort and commitment. There are many factors that can affect the effectiveness and success of a “pull” system. Process reliability, process yields, process flexibility, supplier capabilities and production equipment performance are significant contributors to “pull” efforts. Then there are “ideal” conditions for a “pull” system such as level customer demand, quick line conversions, milk runs and nearby suppliers. Until and unless many of these contributing factors are brought under control to create a condition conducive for “pull”, the full benefit of the “pull” system will not be realised. With the rising cost of material, higher product mix and shorter lead time expectations, can manufacturers afford not to embark on “pull”?