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I'm referring, of course, to 5S - sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. Countless companies throughout the world have used this well-known Lean tool to significantly improve their workplace organization and maintenance. And in late 2011 my company decided to become one of them in a really big way by challenging 36 of our facilities to become fully 5S'd at once - and tapping me to oversee their efforts.
In answer to your most likely questions, yes, almost all of them ultimately succeeded, and no, I don't think our success was a fluke. In fact I believe it's possible for almost any organization to pull off an equally effective 5S deployment - provided they have the right resources, mindset and level of commitment in place.
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