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Supplier Transforms Production During Pandemic with Virtual 5S Lean Training

A leading supplier of customer fuel, this company needed to increase process efficiency to respond to spikes in demand during the pandemic. SDLC Partners provided 5S Lean Manufacturing training and consulting to streamline production in six refilling facilities in three states. The 5S Lean Manufacturing methodology, credited initially with Henry Ford, includes five phases to achieve optimized workflow: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain.

Lean Six Sigma 5S Workflow
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The Challenge:
Increased Demand During Pandemic Requires Streamlined Production

The client experienced spikes in demand for full fuel tanks and realized their facilities were not equipped to handle the increase efficiently. Their facility management needed to improve organization, optimize efficiency and flow, and create a production environment conducive to faster order fulfillment.

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The Solution:
Adapting 5S Lean Manufacturing Training for Virtual Learning

Despite the client’s previous attempt to implement 5S several years earlier without success, they wanted to engage SDLC Partners this time to conduct 5S training. However, COVID-19 restrictions made training-in-person impossible, and a virtual approach was needed.

SDLC Partners designed a custom, virtual 5S training program for the client’s southern refill and refurbishing facilities, training 25 employees in six facilities and three states in 5S methods, as well as guiding them through the skills and knowledge needed to apply these techniques to their facilities.

Utilizing the Zoom web meeting platform, SDLC Partners’ 5S Lean instructors delivered four half-day sessions over one month. During each session, participants learned about the techniques and best practices of each 5S phase. Following each weekly training, employees practiced what they learned, sending photos of their workplace progress. SDLC experts reviewed weekly progress and provided one-on-one support and suggestions, as well as a group review of overall improvement at each facility.

The core concepts of 5S Lean Manufacturing
The core concepts of 5S Lean Manufacturing.
5S organization
An example of how 5S brings order to workplace chaos and ensures efficiency.
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The Results:
5S Transformation Enables Faster Production & Order Fulfillment

In four weeks, the client’s 25 employees — across six facilities in three states — learned the 5S phases and techniques and implemented the training in their physical workspace. SDLC Partners worked with each facility alongside the client’s 5S Steering Committee to develop a plan for continued implementation of the 5S methodologies throughout their plants. Because of their training and 5S adoption, these facilities are equipped to fulfill propane orders more quickly via an optimized workspace and workflow.

Additionally, this 5S training initiative engaged employees with knowledge, skills, and action that they interpreted into real changes that optimized efficiency, as well as job satisfaction. Employees were empowered to redesign their workspace and make changes that help them do their job with more pride and positive results.

5S techniques deliver organization that expedites customers’ value
5S techniques create workplace organization that expedites customers’ value.
5S warehouse organization
5S Lean Manufacturing promotes employee and workplace safety.

Empower Your Employees to Optimize Production & Delivery with 5S Training

This client responded to increased customer demand by maximizing the value of 5S Lean Manufacturing methods and engaging employees to optimize production with training and guidance from SDLC Partners.

How can we help your team implement Lean principles and methodologies — 5S, Six Sigma, and others — ensuring your production and workplace are efficient, standardized, and safer?

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