Lean for Apparel Industry – Part II

Thanks for the marvelous response for the last post on lean for apparel industry. Today, our lean apparel consultant is sharing a story with us. I found it really informative. I removed some names from the post to keep the contributors out of trouble. Please read and leave your comments. If you like the post let us know by clicking on the “Like Button” to the end of the post. 

A Journey from Responsibility to Passion (Story of a Planning Executive)


Before 5S, my work station was a mess. The situation was the same with my colleagues, where everyone was too busy to even think of 5S. As the Planning department we did not have much documents lying around us as in Finance and Merchandising departments, but even the little amount of documents we had were not organized. I found comfort in my own mess because I wasn’t ready to worry my head over organizing my stuff. It was difficult locating my pen, phone, Air freight forms in my own messed up work station and I spend half of the time shouting at others looking for my stuff in their work stations while it was still lying at mines.
So what changed me? To be honest, it was the news that put whole  front end departments on fire, ‘Front-End Lean Audit’. And without even my knowledge I was a member of the team which was nominated to play the lead role in implementing lean in the planning department. I was inspired and enthusiastic about my new responsibility and coincidently I was in charge of implementing 5S.
Things weren’t moving smoothly at first and I was at the risk of losing my interest about Lean. But as the dates closed in, the whole department put their heads together and drew up an action plan setting time lines to continue with each pillar of Lean. This ignited the little fire in me and under the supportive guidance of our ‘5S Guru G’ we set to work. For the first time I opened some of the ‘never explored’ cupboards in our department to witness horrifying scenes. Some contained life stories of our department stacked in and piled up. It was fun cleaning up the mess going through all the fun stuff the place held. Once everything was sorted it was just a matter of getting rid of the unwanted stuff and putting the wanted stuff in an organized manner with accordance to 5S standards.
5S is no longer a mere responsibility forced upon me, but is a passion in my life. My colleagues and bosses are also passionate about it and I consider building up that passion and changing their mindset the greatest achievement of my Lean journey. It was true we had our own little arguments, contradictory decisions throughout our journey but it was just a matter conducting proper discussions to listen to others and extract the best of their ideas.
Now the things have changed. We are entering a new world every morning where everything’s organized, clean and feels great to look at. My colleagues feel more responsible towards their own work stations and proud to see people from other departments using our department as their benchmark 5S area. Now it doesn’t take much time to locate my pen, phone and documents. It’s just a matter of identifying the need. No time is spent on searching for things now.
Wrapping things up, let me tell you that changing was hard, but the change was superb. Once changed, it will be your life’s passion; it will be your life’s discipline. So, change to feel it. Good luck!