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Strive for “lean service” with a focus on the “standardize” activity

Publication date: 
May 2019
Tim Hebert, A&W Electric, Inc.
Type of media: 

Editor’s Note:  This is the fourth in the “5+1 S Series” of articles written by EASA’s Management Services Committee to provide “lean service” resources to members. The traditional “5S” program covers these goals: sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. We’ve added safety to make it the “5+1 S Series.” 

Standardize refers to identifying specifically what products, inventory, equipment and procedures we use to guarantee a consistently successful outcome for our customers. With proper standardization, we can ensure better product quality and workmanship, more effective training and onboarding programs for new associates, more consistent communications back to our customers and ultimately greater profitability.

But there are challenges, aren’t there? Don’t we feel like our customers are unique? And doesn’t it seem that every piece of their equipment is just a bit different? All those things generally are true. Part of our customer promise is the ability to customize and tailor solutions to meet their needs. However, there is much to be gained by standardizing as much of our processes as possible. And that doesn’t just apply to the repair shop!