on board with 5S

Starting 5S organization in a hangar or tool crib can streamline work processes and increase efficiency. 5S works for MROs and FBOs by minimizing time spent searching for tools and placing equipment in a place that is convenient for technicians. Even though 5S is proven to be successful, many organizations experience resistance. The best way to combat this is by proactively getting everyone on board with 5S. While some people take it step by step, the overall goal is complete conversion.

5S Changes

Beginning the 5S process can seem like a more involved version of cleaning and organizing, but it is a bit more involved. One of the goals of 5S is to cut down the time that AMTs spend transporting tools from storage to a work area. Even when equipment is moved to a more convenient location, it is still a change. Managers may fail to realize this in the early stages. The only way to ensure the success of the program is to anticipate and acknowledge long-term change. The best way to get everyone on board with 5S is by allowing time to get used to new processes and procedures.


Schedule a meeting about 5S implementation. Go through the key processes that will change from the new set-up. For example, if any tooling is now stored in a different area due to safety concerns, address it specifically during the meeting. Let everyone know what expectations are, people can’t comply with new processes or rules that they don’t know exist. Give team members the opportunity to ask questions. Ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Don’t forget that part of 5S is sustainability. After a month or two has passed, check in with technicians. Ask if there are any changes that have made processes harder or don’t make sense. Evaluate if other changes need to be made. Make sure that everyone feels they are heard.

Power of Habit

The easiest way to create sustainable change is to focus on habit. For example, team members may need to start taking another route to access part of a machine. It won’t happen right away, workers will need to get used to the changed route. Research indicates that 66 days is the minimum amount of time it takes to change a habit. Give the team about 8 – 10 weeks to adapt.

Change is a slow, but worthwhile process. Lasting change takes time. Keep this in mind as new processes become habitual.Look through our 5S and continuous improvement tips HERE