Walk your jobsite as if this is the first time you’ve ever been in your community and here’s what you’re going to find: Extra lumber spread out along the back of the lots. Inspection covers scattered across the slab. Boxes of hinges sitting in the corners. Small piles of broken concrete and block running along the exterior of the house. Excess rebar buried in the lot.
So where’s that ancient art of 5S?
When we talk about 5S, we tend to promote how the supply closet was organized or how the customer files on your desk are now in three neat stacks rather than accordion style. The purpose of 5S is not to simply clean shop. The purpose is to make it easier to stand still, watch, and see what is really happening around you.
5S organization on the jobsite allows the Construction Professional to immediately and easily identify waste. How do you count the number of rebars when they’re scattered and buried on the jobsite? You may not know how many there were, but your Homeowners will when they’re digging a flowerbed in the backyard.
Being a Construction Professional — as opposed to a “Construction Manager” — means that you have an organizational control over the work flow on your jobsite. Your blue print for organizational control is 5S.
The first step in bringing 5S to the construction jobsite is to become familiar with the methodology. Take a look through your Construction Manual, building schedule, community and jobsites. You’ll find we’re already practicing 5S in a lot of areas. List three examples of 5S on your jobsite and 3 examples of 5S in your community.