Loco: Spanish term for "crazy," "insane," "mad"
Motion: The action or process of moving or being moved
many times did you have to move today to accomplish one task at your
workstation? In how many places did you have to look before you found
the information you needed? How many steps did your roundtrip take
to/from the photocopier or printer? If you answered, "More than
necessary," you need to examine how motion is impacting your work day.
time through unnecessary movement of individuals is a common non-value
added activity in many office and manufacturing settings. In a lot of
instances, poor workplace organization/housekeeping or poor workstation
layouts contribute to wasted motion. Yet it's an easy thing to correct
using two simple methods, the 5S system and U-shaped cells. Both methods
can increase your workflow capabilities by as much as 95 percent.
Hirano is credited with creating the 5S system in the 1980s, but it
originated in Japan with Toyota's Total Production System (TPS) post
World War II. The 5S's are: Sort, Store, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.
The premise of the system is that any workplace should be visually
appealing by being organized. And by being organized, the workplace
enables continuous workflow and minimizes waste.
the 5S system is typically done through Kaizen events. Teams physically
sort through materials at workstations by getting rid of items that are
not useful ("use it or lose it") while acquiring items that are needed;
dedicating and organizing space to store items of usefulness;
maintaining ("shining") the workstation and equipment through daily
cleanliness and inspections; standardizing maintenance through
documentation of best practices; and sustaining the improved work areas
by continuing to sort, store, shine, and standardize through regular
audits. The key to the 5S system is that it must be supported by the
whole organization if it is to be successful. Its benefits include a
better organized workplace which leads to reduced waste and, therefore,
increased bottom line.
your workplace is organized through the 5S system, look at your
workstation. Is it in an U-shaped configuration? Workstations set in
U-shaped configurations increase workflow by allowing seamless
movement within the work area across a shorter distance. If
everything you need for your work is close at hand and movement of
workflow is counterclockwise, your motion time is considerably reduced
and your efficiency and productivity are increased.
of running through your day with "loco" motion, implement the 5S system
and configure your workstation in an U-shaped cell to decrease motion
and improve productivity. By doing so, you will be contributing to your
organization's continuous improvement.