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Seiri Sort - Sorting Phase

Seiri, also known as the sorting phase, is the first S in the 5S organizational system. How important is this phase? Doing this portion effectively can help get your 5s off to a great start.

Seiri, also known as the "sorting phase", is the first "S" in the 5S organizational system. In this first phase the focus is on removing all unnecessary items from the workplace. In the sorting process all items are prioritized with the goal being that only items deemed necessary should remain. Everything not essential should be removed from the area and either stored somewhere else, or eliminated completely by discarding.

This "sorting phase" can be a challenging one. There is an inherent mentality towards thinking "I might need that one day", which leads to the accumulation of unneeded materials, tools, equipment, manuals, instructions, parts, etc. In addition to these unneeded items, there may be items that are damaged, broken, outdated, inoperable or obsolete, yet are taking up valuable space. There may also be excess materials and supplies which may be needed, just not now or anytime soon. "Just in case" is not a good reason to weigh down the workplace with the unnecessary.

A workspace filled with needless items creates chaos and confusion. The results of a disorganized workspace are often poor productivity, poor quality, and inefficiency. Time is wasted searching through all the unneeded items for something that is needed. Clogging the workplace with unnecessary items is wasteful in many ways and creates needless hazards. A clutter-free facility is a safer and more productive facility.

The sorting phase is an interesting opportunity to take stock of exactly what is on the floor of your facility. This is the time to seriously evaluate all the items in work areas including machinery, equipment, parts, supplies, tools, and materials, to determine which items are actually needed for the job. When evaluating each item consider how each item is used, the necessity of each item, and how the item fits into the current workflow. Though the process can be time consuming, the results can be dramatic and have an equally dramatic impact on efficiency, productivity, and quality.

During the sorting process, many items may be deemed unnecessary. It may be determined that other items are used infrequently or interfere with workflow. These items should be removed by discarding or by moving to a storage area where items that are needed only occasionally are still easily accessible.

An effective visual method of marking those items that are deemed unnecessary for the workspace is often called "red-tagging". Items that are red tagged are "removed from the flow", and moved to a holding area for further evaluation. You will want to have items properly labeled and identified before they are moved. After further evaluation, the red-tagged items are then either taken to a storage area, or disposed of as waste. Red-tagged items that are used only occasionally may be stored in a central location. These items will be accessible, but not taking up valuable area in the workplace.

The SafetyPro industrial label printer is a helpful resource in this first 5s process, the "sorting phase". With SafetyPro you can create custom red-tags (as well as tags of other colors to help increase efficiency) with all the custom information you decide you need, right on the spot.

Tags: 5s sorting,5s seiri,5s phase 1,first part of 5s, 5s starting, 5s beginning,5s labeling, 5s supplies,5s kickoff