Is tool organization Lean?

Lean manufacturing and its related strategies are focused on streamlining processes and reducing waste with organization efforts a main component. Organizing the workplace to help the flow of processes is important and by keeping tools in a logical order, you can ensure workers will be able to locate tools quickly and keep the process moving. This will reduce wasted time that can accumulate and save the company money because tools are lost less often, and the tools are kept safe.

One of the main goals of Lean manufacturing is to deliver products or services to customers as efficiently as possible. Coincidentally, disorganization in toolboxes or workbenches will often result in companies not being able to deliver as soon as they could. It takes longer for products to be manufactured when workers are spending more time locating tools or moving inefficiently around a cluttered workplace.

A term or strategy that is often paired with Lean manufacturing is 5S because 5S is a foundational part of Lean. The goal of going Lean is to remove anything from the production process that does not add value to the finished product. Ultimately, 5S is a Lean manufacturing tool that can serve as a foundation for all other Lean endeavors, one of these endeavors being tool organization.

Lean stresses efficiency and a reduction of waste and using Lean tools like 5S make that a possibility. For instance, using the visual management approach of the 5S methodology can be a great asset when approaching tool organization. Using color-coded methods with shadow board tape and tool foam will quickly alert workers when tools are missing or need to be replaced. Keeping tool organization at the forefront of the mind while completing 5S tasks can have a big impact on the results.

Ultimately Lean is made up of a set of tactics and strategies implemented to streamline the manufacturing process and identify areas where improvements can be made. Often times toolboxes and workbenches are these types of areas that could use improvements and will affect the process as a whole.


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