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Quality Tool Training:

Are you fifty years old or more? Do you remember when “Japanese Junk” described not only a small boat but also the quality of goods coming from Japan? Now ask yourself, where do the highest quality, lowest priced goods come from? The answer to this comes easily, “Japan”. What a turn around! The change was not by chance. It came from a mindset of teamwork and belief in a systems approach to continuous improvement.

In recent years several American companies have realized we need to catch up but are not sure how to approach the challenge. The answer is less complicated than most can believe. At Lean Consulting and Training, we have a quality tools expert on staff that has studied these methods and has been teaching them to college students and professionals for several years. Once your organization begins to utilize these concepts, improvement will manifest almost automatically. First, demonstrations in a classroom setting will convince people of the power in the organized approach. Secondly, experiences provided in a real work setting will reinforce that using this approach will produce positive results. As time passes, your employees will deliver more and more ideas that will provide opportunity for incremental improvement in productivity, quality, and profits. Our methods of training will make concepts easy to understand and will spark the creative juices that flow in the minds of your most valuable asset, “your employees”.

Let’s take a look at one of those tools. One of our favorites is simple to teach, learn, and utilize. It also produces noticeable results once it has been initiated correctly.


SORT: first clean up the work area, getting rid of any parts or tools that are unnecessary for the task at hand. A well organized work area will make the work easier, quicker to complete, and more accurately done.

SET IN ORDER: Set limits and create temporary location indicators. For instance if tools or equipment are necessary for the job, have them located in a specific spot so the worker has quick easy access

SHINE, that is to keep the work area neat and clean. This provides a sense of pride in workmanship as well as providing the same benefits of the sorting step.

STANDARDIZATION then provides the starting point for the next time the same job is done. Do not try to re-invent the wheel each time the job is done. Further these methods can be transferred to other tasks necessary to be more productive in other areas.

SUSTAIN: be sure not to let gains made today become lost in our complicated business world. Assure all standardized methods are well documented and available to all those who may need instruction in the future. Some benefits of The 5s System include improved quality, decreased changeover time, improved safety, reduced storage costs, and improved worker morale This entire system can be presented, practiced, and internalized by your employees after one meeting of one to two hours considering group sizes ranging from ten to fifty. Larger groups should be divided for best results. Once a group of your people has learned the principles of this method, we suggest allowing them to utilize what they have learned immediately. By doing so, you gain the benefit of their new knowledge while they gain experience and a morale boost.

For more on 5S go to our 5S page.


Another idea that comes to us after decades of success in Japan is “KAIZEN”. It is a simple task to move directly from a demonstration of the 5-S System to a Kaizen demonstration. Since this is such a seamless transition, we suggest covering both of these methods during the same day. Kaizen describes incremental continuous improvement with no stopping point. When we have made an improvement we check for results and get on with the challenge of improving our improvement. This method of improvement can be presented to a group of your employees for their consideration and discussion within a two to four hour period according to the group size. Everyone must know this is a full organizational effort requiring inputs from all levels One should consider, if employees are a part of the planning and implementation stages, they will be more interested in successful results. Further, if people are recognized for effort and results, they will be reinforced to become more and more involved in the welfare of the organization.

Some of the tools we teach your employees to use include data gathering techniques, brainstorming, and reengineering. Further they will learn how to develop affinity diagrams, pareto diagrams, histograms, control charts which will aid in decision making all through the improvement process. With knowledge of how to use these techniques, your employees can assist management in discovery, and solving of problems that have historically consumed your profits.

The information we present will be at a level your employees can understand and be able to implement successfully. Your management group should understand, many organizations can sink as much money into projects as you can. They have access to buy the facility, fully equipped with the latest and greatest equipment. However only you have the unique group of individuals that make up your organization. Therefore, get the most you can from your most valuable resource. We value our employees and do guarantee their ability to transfer their valuable knowledge to your most valuable resource.

We have also found it very helpful to the trainees and to the organization to conduct a Kaizen Blitz as part of our training.

For more info or to schedule a Quality Tool training project please contact us.

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 Organizational Development and Process Improvement Specialists
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