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Implemented 5S Shadow Boards and Still Losing Your Tools?

Implemented 5S Shadow Boards and Still Losing Your Tools?

…Why this doesn’t mean that your 5S programme isn’t working!


5S shadow boards are an essential part of your 5S implementation, but you might still be losing tools. Firstly, we would have to say that this is normally a sure indication that your workforce is not as fully engaged with your 5S programme as they need to be, and we would say if this is the case, talk to us! We have lots of ideas to really ramp up your Employee Engagement, from small changes to your procedures that can be easily and quickly implemented at no or minimal cost, to simple visual devices that get great employee buy-in, through to training programmes and consultancy sessions with built-in follow up programmes to ensure that the results are really sustained.

However, here’s some great news! We appreciate your concern that whilst your tools are being misplaced, your team members still have to waste time looking for them and potentially there is even financial waste in replacing missing items, but have you ever thought about the saving of high-value time in being able to see that the tools are missing before you need to use them?

5S Shadow Boards - Clarity Cleaning Station Bottle - Clarity Visual Management

Before 5S, it is so often the case that it is not until a process is underway and we are at a stage when we need to use the tool that we realise that it is missing. By that point, there are normally a group of persons involved. Works stops and the time of the whole team is wasted.

When a 5S shadow board is in place, an abnormal condition (missing tool) is immediately visible and the situation can be corrected at this point before the whole team is involved.

So what have we achieved in our 5S programme, even when the tools still go missing? We have maximised value added time (time spent adding value which a customer will pay for) for a team of persons and kept the non-value-added time (time that has to be spent to achieve the end result but adds nothing to the finished product) to the work of a single person. It is also of note that this non-value added time is normally also reduced, as the discrepancy is noticed more quickly which normally results in less time spent rectifying the problem.

5S itself is subject to Continuous Improvement and we are not in any way suggesting that a 5S programme where you are still losing your tools is satisfactory! Far from it! However, we see too many 5S programmes where the benefits to the organisation that have already been achieved are not being recognised and therefore the programme is given up, whereas the beginnings of a highly successful programme are already there.

As we have already said, if you have installed shadow boards and are concerned that, in spite of this, your tools are still going missing:

  • Take heart! You are very likely to be already achieving great savings and are well on the way to even greater things.
  • Speak to us about your Employee Engagement. It is almost certainly an area where we can help you to improve simply and economically to build on the work you have already done for huge improvements.


Visual Management to Reach Your Goals - Clarity Visual Management



Clarity Visual Management, making Lean work…

Here at Clarity Visual Management, we consult with clients both far and wide about how they can use visual management to achieve their goals, exceed their targets and make financial savings which would otherwise be lost to waste. We work with our clients to create a bespoke strategy that ensures visual management is set up for success before providing specific, high-quality Lean products to sustain the visual management programme and make Lean work in the organisation long-term.

You can read more about the work we’ve undertaken with our clients by browsing through our Visual Management Case Studies.

Download our ‘Introduction to Clarity Visual Management’ if you’re unfamiliar with Clarity and want to learn a little more about our products and services.

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Further reading on the Clarity Blog: