At the end of April I was part of a project to 5S a shelf in the MUB kitchen. The blog post for the first shelf can be found here. The next step at the time was to do the same process to a similar shelf of catering platters and trays.
Initially we were going to simply 5S the second shelf. However, after some discussion during the Sort phase we realized that it might be worthwhile to take a look into what was truly value-add that should remain on the shelf. Originally there were two levels of platters and trays. One called “copper” and the other called “silver.” The copper level of service consisted of plastic items. These platters and trays were prone to being scratched and losing aesthetic appeal, therefore requiring frequent replacement. The silver level of service, though more expensive, did not require as frequent replacement.
We began asking why we had two levels of service. At first we thought that having two levels of service gave the customer options and control over what their food was served on. However, it was found that very rarely did anybody request the plastic level of service. After performing this informal 5 Why exercise we decided to standardize from two levels to just the silver. This resulted in
- Decreasing inventory (increasing shelf space, decreasing capital invested in non-value add items)
- Improving flow in other catering processes
- Eliminating the risk of customers having a poor experience with plastic platters and trays