Better performance from the ground up
When trying to improve manufacturing and production processes, it’s not always easy to introduce operational initiatives that will last. Solutions formed at a management level can often miss the basic details like maintenance and cleaning. Most managers know they should begin with the workers' perspective to implement change, but research shows that they often don't do so in practice. That means efficiency tools like Lean can become a management philosophy rather than a production reality.
Engaging with the workforce is the first step in determining where to best apply changes. While they may seem like secondary tasks, maintenance and cleaning account for a large portion of work on the shop floor. Improvements in this area have a big effect on overall productivity.
“We need to involve everyone in identifying problems and thinking about underlying issues, otherwise it is not possible to achieve sustainable change and improvements.”
- Knut Sandbakken, Senior Advisor Production Development, SINTEF - Norway
The problem - How to make changes stick in practice
Instead of implementing long-term initiatives, many companies focus on quick fixes to meet short-term production goals, adopting generic practices, which do not incorporate the needs of the workforce. Eager to implement fast-track changes, companies can sometimes rush new productivity programs without first making sure employees – including management – are prepared to work in new ways.
Introducing too many new production processes all at once that aren’t anchored within the organisation can lead to what McKinsey1 calls “initiative fatigue”. This fatigue can cause efficiency gains to quickly fizzle out, and even create distrust amongst the workforce.
The solution - start where the action happens
The solution is for managers to begin by asking staff members to identify the key challenges in their daily work. It could be about spending time with them on the shop floor, observing and asking questions on how and why they do tasks in a certain way. If people are engaged in identifying problems, as well as solutions, they are more likely to support new processes. Once you understand the needs of the workforce, you can prioritise what needs to change like better organisation or better cleaning products. Finally, simplify ways of working for your staff by placing the right product and tools in the right place.
“Many organisations spend most of their energy on methods and tools, whereas the potential of the individual worker many times is not fully realised.” - Dag Lotsander, Lean Expert - Sweden
The 5S of Cleaning
The 5S Model is a dynamic methodology used to guide efficiency initiatives. Tork suggests using 5S not as a generic template, but as a model to identify where you need to focus efforts on change in your organisation – beginning with engaging workers, prioritising what needs to change and simplifying your wiping and cleaning. Tork has created the 5S of Cleaning to help you achieve that and our products support in every step. Here’s how:
It's time to sort things out, use the right tool for the job to maximise efficiency. There are a wide variety of cleaning tasks on every production floor. The first step is choosing which solutions best serve your specific needs. To give you plenty of options, Tork offers a broad selection of wiping and cleaning products. High quality Tork products can be used for a multitude of tasks, making it possible to replace several different products with just one.
2. Set in order
This step makes work, storage and access more efficient. Set your workspace in order with the right products in the right place. Once you determine which Tork products suit your needs, we can help you place the appropriate dispensers, wall and floor stands in the best possible location.
This is where you start to see results. A clean shop floor with clean machines makes it easier to notice problems and avoid unplanned stoppages. As well as improving the quality of cleaning, Tork exelCLEAN® cloths can increase overall performance. For example, workers can complete a task in up to 35% less time with up to 31% less effort compared to rags and rentals.
With Tork exelCLEAN® you get the same reliable performance every time, unlike rags which can vary in size and quality. The consistent quality of Tork products also means workers no longer need to spend time searching through rags for the “right ones”.
This ultimate step is crucial. You've put in a lot of thought and effort, and now you need to make your improvements stick in the long term. By continuing to involve your workers and providing the right product in the right place, Tork products can help you sustain changes, like improving machine cleanliness, and continuously improve your maintenance and cleaning practices through each step of the 5S model.
The result: Real change that starts from the ground up
When it comes to continuous improvement, every second counts, no matter where it comes from. Tork Cleaning Cloths with exelCLEAN® can help you find that extra time and money in unexpected places.
The Tork 5S of cleaning can help you truly start from the ground up by providing your workforce with easy-to-use, versatile wiping and cleaning products. By starting with the workers' perspective, you can allow people to work smarter, which in turn, leads to happier, more productive workers. This will increase your uptime, which directly translates to money saved.
Want to learn more?
The 5S model is a framework that can be used to identify the details to improve in each step – starting with your operators’ ways of working.
Contact your Tork sales representative and let us help you improve your maintenance and cleaning solutions.
1. McKinsey, “From Lean to lasting - making improvements stick”, 2008