Lean Warehousing: How to Apply the 5S System to Optimize Your Warehouse
Whether as a result of the growing global supply chain or accommodations for the COVID-19 pandemic, warehouses are under constant pressure to be better, work faster, and perform efficiently. As the pressure increases, many companies are trying to get ahead of warehouse management to meet heightened needs. For some, the solution could be lean warehousing. Below, we discuss how to apply the 5S system to optimize your warehouse.
Lean warehousing is a warehouse management approach that limits resource consumption without sacrificing quality or productivity. In other words, lean warehousing strives to do more with less, thereby streamlining warehouse operations.
Lean warehousing eliminates processes or activities that use resources but which do not create additional value. This management style utilizes the 5S system: Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. In practice, these steps help identify, manage, and maintain procedures or processes that optimize warehouse functions
Going ‘lean’ doesn’t mean that a warehouse has to sacrifice its quality, rather this approach allows managers to see what is important, what processes they could do away with, and what lasting changes can be made to optimize their workflow. Adopting lean warehouse tactics and using the 5S system can help a warehouse avoid overstocking, simplify its operations, and minimize touchpoints to keep everything running smoothly.
Another benefit of this management system is that it’s adaptable. Like many warehousing companies are seeing during 2020, consumer trends and the needs of the global supply chain can shift rapidly. With proper implementation of lean warehousing, a warehouse manager can ensure that their staff is working at the optimal level at any given time and make adjustments as needed.