__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 10

TECHNOLOGY

BY SCOTT SZYCHER

For Triumph Modular, ‘5S’ equals ‘Success’

A

s a premier provider of custom modular buildings, trailers and containers in the temporary space market since 1981, Triumph Modular’s warehouse looked like something you’d expect to find at a busy construction company: ample square footage containing a variety of raw materials, tools, supplies and more. While typical of an indoor construction zone, it certainly wasn’t what co-owner Clifford Cort would call “super organized.” “It didn’t represent our company’s values of safety, efficiency and self-respect,” said Cort, whose company had grown in parallel to the increased popularity of modular construction in commercial projects. “While companies can succeed in spite of their internal disorganization, I wanted ours to operate like one of those Fortune 500 companies, where the training and effort they put in shine through.” Cort had originally heard about “Lean Construction,” which emphasizes communication and the elimination of waste, through a seminar from the Lean Construction Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of Lean project delivery in the construction industry. He subsequently heard about “5S,” which immediately grabbed his attention. 5S is the name of an organizational method to organize a workspace for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining Scott Szycher is the membership, marketing and communications director for ASM.

10

Summer 2016

the area and items and sustaining the new order. The components include:

•• Sort: Go through materials, keeping only the essential items needed to complete tasks. •• Set in order: Ensure that all items are organized and each item has its designated place. •• Shine: Proactively keep workplace areas clean and orderly to ensure purpose-driven work. •• Standardize: Create a set of standards for both organization and processes. •• Sustain: Maintain new practices, and conduct audits to maintain discipline. First implemented in Japan by the Toyota Motor Corp. as a way to enable just-in-time manufacturing, the 5S methodology is gaining increasing acceptance in a variety of industries, including construction, due to its many benefits. “It’s rudimentary, so any size company can implement it,” Cort proclaimed. “And it’s very visual. You can see labels where products or supplies should go, and once it’s in place, you can see how it will help productivity and efficiency. Things are labeled, so there’s less walking around and looking for tools and materials.” Of course, as with any new system, many employers who have implemented 5S had some skeptical employees at first. And with local construction very busy these days, selling 5S to employees can be an even bigger challenge. But Cort saw the value in not standing pat with parts of his own business that needed more organization and structure. “We were healthy, growing and prosperous, but even though we were used to our environment, the bar wasn’t high enough,” he recalled. “Once you implement 5S, it produces measurable improvements, so employees don’t think it’s a fad that will be gone in a year, or a waste of time.” Nick Masci of Haley & Aldrich Inc., a leading engineering and consulting firm with a robust Lean advisory practice, commented on companies like Triumph going down the Lean path. “5S can be a wonderful place to begin a Lean journey. Front-line workers will immediately feel that their work has gotten easier, so we build enthusiasm and commitment.” Masci also stressed that 5S implementation helps bring senior managers and company owners out to the area(s) in their operations where actual work is done – often known in Lean circles as the “gemba,” which is the Japanese term for “the real place.” “It’s an opportunity to practice visual management, standardized work, continuous improvement and for

Profile for The Warren Group

The Professional Contractor  

In this issue, experts weigh in on succession planning, fraud prevention, workers’ compensation & more; and Windover Construction shows off...

The Professional Contractor  

In this issue, experts weigh in on succession planning, fraud prevention, workers’ compensation & more; and Windover Construction shows off...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded