Goodbye, Mess

5S to help clean up operations

My family finally got the last of the boxes unpacked after moving into a new home last year. It was such a relief to get the whole house sorted, straightened, shined and standardized. Whether we can sustain the improvements has yet to be seen, though I plan to give it my best shot. Coming home to a clean 5S-ified house allows you to devote time and energy to the things that are most important: family, the future and free time.

When it comes to 5S, the "house" you hear about most often is a manufacturing facility. As you will learn in "Office Efficiency," the method can also produce beneficial outcomes in an office setting. The S’s can be applied quite easily to information flow. In fact, you might be surprised at how easily you can implement some of the ideas in this article in your own organization, even when it involves less standardized types of workflows, such as those of knowledge workers.

Our second feature article focuses on axiomatic design and Taguchi robust parameter design as the fundamentals behind successful design for Six Sigma applications. "The Crown Jewels of Design" explains how you can overcome many vulnerabilities inherent in product design by using these design tools.

"Open Lines," discusses the importance of efficient communication in a corporate setting and how standards, lean, Six Sigma and other tools can be used to improve communication efficiency, ultimately leading to better business results and happier customers and employees. The author describes an arsenal of tools you can use to improve everyday communications.

"Less Is More" takes a look at the increasing use of overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) among organizations as a key performance indicator. This case study explains how quality tools were used to increase machine availability and performance at a manufacturing facility, while keeping quality the same, increasing the machine’s OEE.

Seiche Sanders

Seiche Sanders

Editor in Chief and Publisher

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