Six Sigma, and Process Based Leadership are toolboxes full of techniques, or metrics driven approaches, which can be used to systematically improve organizational processes. Vantage Plastics was introduced to these business strategies through an engagement with a team of professors from The Business School at Central Michigan University. Since the initial introduction several additional training events, and engagements with other universities and organizations have occurred. Most recently Process Based Leadership (PBL) has been introduced. It acts like a Global Positioning System (GPS) to align Goals, People, and Systems. This approach strives to link tactical operational goals to strategic direction. “Vital” communications are used to create a clear understanding of essential functions by all personnel, and an acceptance of individual, and team accountability.
“5S” is an example a management philosophy from these toolboxes which has been used within Vantage Plastics. It is a methodology for organizing and managing the workplace. As a philosophy it uses a list of five Japanese words to cover phases of its implementation. Its intent is to improve work flow and thus improve efficiency and eliminate waste.
The 5’S are….
Phase 1- Seiri (Sorting)
Phase 2- Seiton (Straighten or Set in Order)
Phase 3- Seiso (Sweeping or Shining or Cleanliness)
Phase 4- Seiketsu (Standardizing)
Phase 5- Shitsuke (Sustaining the Discipline)
Vantage Plastics follows the 5S process for cleanliness and organization within its workspaces. The cleaner the work area, the sooner problems can be identified, and needed items can be found. We feel 5S is important because it adds common sense to the workplace. A clean organized environment is more predictable, simpler to work in, and visually supportive. 5S improves our safety, and efficiency by permanently placing tools where they are needed for use. This eliminates the need to search for tools thus reducing time by reducing unnecessary steps in the manufacturing process. 5S is being applied to all aspects of Vantage Plastics including our offices. We use the 5S system to reduce the seven wastes (Overproduction, Motion, Transportation, Over Processing, Correction, Waiting, and Inventory). This is just one example of the many tools Vantage Plasticsuses to be a more productive and efficient company, helping us deliver greater value, and quality products to our customers.
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