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More productive staff at The Children's Society after 5S

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Results & ROI

  • 6,000 sqft of the main London office (25% of the building) made available for rent
  • Over 70 bags of confidential waste shredded and removed 
  • Over 290 bags of recycled paper, cardboard and general waste removed 
  • 36 items of office furniture and over 700 old mobile phones to be recycled/sold 
  • 47000 unused leaflets/stationery pooled to central store for reuse 
  • More than £7,000 of stationery to be redistributed and used before re-order

The client

The Children’s Society leads pioneering change for many children, providing them with the help and resources they need to overcome difficult situations in their lives. The charity embarked on a full Lean transformation programme – the Ways of Working (WOW) programme to improve services, change culture and reduce costs.  

The challenge

The organisation recognised the need to improve the physical environment to enable smoother processes with less waste. They wanted a clear view of facilities, equipment and materials and wanted to introduce centralised systems to make best use of resources, saving time and money. They wanted to deliver physical 5S activity across their whole estate, starting with Head Office and moving on to regional offices.  

The approach

A programme was established to implement physical 5S across the organisation, this started with Head Office in London.  Planning and preparation was critical and we therefore briefed the WOW Programme Team on key considerations e.g. knowing in advance the legal and policy rules for storage of documents, confirming waste and other removal arrangements, communicating requirements to teams and identifying communal/shared storage areas.  5S comprises a series of stages:   

  1. Sort through items keeping only what is needed 
  2. Set in order a place for everything and everything in its place 
  3. Shine cleanliness 
  4. Standardise develop standards, systems & procedures to maintain & monitor the first three S’s 
  5. Sustain develop audits to sustain the new level of performance

The benefits

Implementing 5S in the workplace delivers a number of cultural benefits and efficiencies.  Creating a visual and more orderly workplace, having mechanisms to share/book resources and systems in place to manage stationery for example, saves time and effort and importantly reduces costs.  The organisation:  

  • Introduced systems to monitor and share resources across the organisation e.g. booking of branded items for events, ordering stationery via a central store, monitoring stock of leaflets  
  • Removed and recycled broken and unused furniture and equipment – with a number of items donated to locally 
  • Eliminated stock piling of materials e.g. leaflets and branded items 
  • Ensured resources are being utilised in line with current ‘brand’ guidelines 
  • Created physical space and a more effective working environment

“Undertaking a physical 5S of our head office has transformed our working space to the delight of our many colleagues. Not only do they have a more conducive, effective, working environment but there is now sufficient space to welcome others organisations into our workspace.”

Liz Walker | Finance & Corporate Service Director