5S implementation challenges in garment factory
5S implementation challenges in garment factory stops the improvement journey before it even starts.. 5S is a slow and gradual process as it involves the support of entire garment factory workforce. There isn’t any magical solution with which you can do it within few months and gain the results. Even if you are able to notice improvements, it won’t sustain for long unless efforts are put to strengthen the 5th S – Sustain
- It’s not our job : The first of the 5s implementation challenges is people asking you “why shall we do it? The common perception is that 5S involves cleaning only and it is the job of housekeeping department. Solution : Educate people about 5S, from managers to grassroots everyone should be involved. Form teams department wise and choose 5S leader for the team. Educate the leaders properly and guide them in educating the subordinates. There are various games available which can be helpful in educating operators.
- It doesn’t have direct effect: Everyone wants quick results and if results are not quick people start losing interest in that activity. So that applies to this case also. It’s a long process and often doesn’t improve the productivity directly; hence people start feeling that it’s not that necessary. Solution: Pick a particular area and make it as 5S pilot area. Start working there and involve people along. Showcase that area as example of success and measure the improvements in the form of safety, quality and reduction of lead time etc. This will bring the project in notice and you can proceed further.
- If it’s not visible, It won’t change: Simply saying the points where the changes have to be made often don’t work. People forget things and your 5s will be forgotten too. Also everyone needs motivation for changing and 5S will be successful only if you are able to change the mindset. Solution: Perform audits on weekly basis and click violation pictures as well as best 5S practice within the zone. Make a 5S board where the pictures of 5S violation can be put so that the persons of respective zone can correct it. Also picture of the best 5S practice can be put so that people can be inspired
- No Follow up, No Sustain : If you don’t follow up the changes made and perform regular audits, everything what has been done will slowly go back to the place where you started from. Solution: Keep following up the changes till 5S becomes a habit. Motivate people if they are lagging behind. Display audit marks and start rotational cup for best performance in 5S. These things will keep people motivated and will generate a healthy competition towards improvement.
To ensure successful implementation of 5S you should have:
- Motivated workforce willing to change
- Proper awareness and training at all levels
- Proper plan and regular practice
- Proper equipment for cleaning such that productive time doesn’t get wasted
- Motivational factors specially on grassroots level
- Good leaders who can drive it further and sustain it.
Small steps everyday will result into bigger changes in the end. 5S will lead to safe, tidy, standards, well defined and happy work environment
email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarthak is a graduate from National Institute of Fashion technology with a profound interest in lean manufacturing and process improvements.