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How Lean Are Your Closets?

We have visited custodial closets for years, in fact we can’t even keep track of how many we have visited over the years.  A recent article published by ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association) titled “Whats in Your Custodial Closet” inspired us to write about our experience with touring custodial closets.

Awhile back one of our customers (K-12) asked us to help them go through Lean 5S process. They said that since they normally conducted a chemical clean-out every year and include teachers they didn’t expect to find much but wanted to make sure and said it would also help make sure they were standardized and using the same products across all ten buildings.  So the journey began, sorting through all custodial closets and cabinets in the classrooms.  We found  more than four skids of various products that were no longer being used,  product that was brought in by teachers with no SDS on file; and old products they thought were long gone but just got shoved behind other things and forgotten about.  It was a great exercise to go through and when finished going through the process we had organized closets, assigned a home location for all of the products they were using, set up a system so that teachers could request products they needed to use in the classroom from the custodial department easily and greened their program up as well.  We have worked with numerous customers in this capacity and we are never surprised at what we find.

What is stopping you from having professional looking, organized storage areas and custodial closets?  It saves time when your storage areas are organized.  Location of where products are stored matter as well, regularly used items should be handy to reach and find.  If staff works in multiple areas, having storage areas set-up similarly makes it easy for things to be found. This is also very important when the space is shared.

Here is a taste of the Lean 5S approach:  “A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place”

  • A Place for Everything:
    • Sort and Separate
    • Scrub and Shine
    • Select and Straighten
  • And Everything in its Place
    • Safety
    • Standardize
    • Sustain

We can help make it painless with an assessment, establishment of your benchmark, goal setting and implementation.  Request a meeting or more information

What is your next step?