If you’ve read our previous post on 3s, you’ll know that after you’ve sorted and swept, it’s all about sustaining what you’ve put in place.  We’ve all been working really hard to implement lots of Lean techniques and don’t want that to go to waste.  So we’ve put some measures in place to help us sustain the clean, Lean environment we’re creating and we’d like to share them with you.

How are we maintaining a clean, Lean environment at Stokes &Rowe?

The Morning Clean

We have implemented  the ‘morning clean’.  This is carried out when the last member of staff arrives (which in our case is 9.30am).  The whole team down tools and spends a few minutes having a tidy up ready for the day.  This includes taking the rubbish and recycling out, sweeping the floor and work stations, checking that all tools are in their tool holders or on shadow boards and any components or tooling that should not be there are removed from the work area and given to the correct department.  This means we always start the day in the right frame of mind in a lovely, clear workplace.  And by doing this in the morning, we only spend as long as we need tidying up.  Sometimes it’s as little as a minute getting ourselves ready for the day ahead if we are already pretty tidy.  If we did it at the end of the day and got everyone to stop 15 minutes before shutdown, there could potentially be minutes wasted.  After all, who wants to start working again for only another 5-10 minutes after they’ve just tided up!

Cleaning Stations

Lean environmentIt’s human nature not to want to be inconvenienced.  So if it’s inconvenient to clean up after ourselves by not having the correct equipment to hand, its less likely to get done.  Therefore, we have also set up some very simple cleaning stations.  Each has our few essential cleaning items- broom, dustpan and brush, cleaning spray, cloth and blue paper towel.  Lean environment

Because we have multiple cleaning stations dotted around the factory, cleaning equipment is always to hand, no matter what you’re doing.  This means that any mess is cleaned up quickly and easily.  And after the morning clean earlier that day, new mess is obvious and can be dealt with quickly and easily.  And everyone is more inclined to want to maintain their clean workplace.


The other really nice thing about doing our morning clean is that we are always ready to welcome visitors.  Gone are the days of having to stop work to have a mad rush around.  We’ve even come in at the weekend to get everything ready in the past!  But our factory is now visitor ready every day.  And with not having to worry about how tidy or organised our workshop is, we can focus on more important things like showcasing the work that we do.

We hope that you find these tips for maintaining a clean, Lean environment handy for your own place of work.

Happy Manufacturing!

Rob, Nicola and the Team