Room Reorganization Guide

This white paper is based on an original publication by Akro-Mils.

An essential component of any production environment, the well-organized supply room can improve workflow while enhancing productivity. Use the following steps as a guide to implement a 5S method for workplace organization in your storage facility - and eliminate cluttered, unsafe and disorganized supply rooms.

Step 1: Create a leadership team consisting of 3 to 5 members with diverse backgrounds. The team should include materials management, purchasing, and other representatives from departments that will utilize the space.

Step 2: Consider your current supply storage facility.

  • Survey employees to determine which supplies are currently easy to locate, and the amount of time spent looking for those which are not. Inquire how staff members use the supply room, how items are stocked, and which items are used most frequently.
  • Assess the shelving in your supply room to determine whether units will need to be replaced and/or supplemented.
  • Determine whether a color code system is currently in use and whether it should be maintained or revised. If a system is not in place, consider implementation of one using different bin colors or colored labels.
  • Consider the departments that will be using the supply room, and whether the items they need are mixed together or clearly separated and labeled.

Step 3: Begin sorting supplies, establishing groups of similar products. Items that are often used should be noted and stored between waist and shoulder height to eliminate repeated bending and stretching. Select an appropriate bin or container based on inventory levels for all supplies being housed in the room. (5S Step 1: Sort)

Step 4: Take measurements of the space, noting any unique circumstances such as an irregularly shaped room or large furnishings and other items that use substantial space. Identify various configuration possibilities using a whiteboard to determine the best option for maximum storage, and review possible arrangements with the elected leadership team.

Step 5: Consider the best timing for supply room reorganization, and try to schedule during a slow period based on shifts and production schedule.

Step 6: Prepare in advance by creating a labeling system for bins and shelves before the reorganization process begins.

Step 7: Organize and install shelving and panels, enlisting the help of a maintenance team if necessary to properly complete the process.


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