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“Spic & Span” and 5S


Making things “spic & span” is a term I grew up with. We all do a lot of that at this time of year as we get ready for Christmas, the parties, the family get togethers and the New Year’s festivities.  The house gets straightened up, things get dusted and vacuumed.  I also spend time putting away all the receipts from the year and setting up folders for the new year.  I sort through old papers, recycling some, shredding others.  I even spent some time cleaning up my mail files, as did my wife.  We often say that entropy wins–the natural tendency for things to move toward chaos unless energy is applied to keep it in place.  (In engineering it’s called the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  For a family with young children, it’s the “put your toys away” rule.).  At the end of the year, we also take stock of what we have accomplished and what our goals are for the new year.  Another, popular term, for all this currently is 5S — Sort, Set-in-Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain.  To work on the 4th “S” I put together some instructions to help me remember how to do some things I don’t do often.  The 5th “S” is what next year is all about.  Make sure that you are taking stock of your business, getting things in order, making them easier for yourself and your employees to do consistently with high quality.  Let’s all have a great Twenty-Thirteen!!!