How Your Health Club Can Profit from the 5S Method

The 5S system utilizes five principles for workplace organization and efficiency. Here’s how efficient systems can create a superior product.

  • August 06, 2019

Those who study management efficiency are familiar with Parkinson’s Law. As defined by Wikipedia, Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, if you set a one-month deadline for your staff to complete a task, it will take one month to complete that task, but if you set a timeline of two weeks for the same task, it will be completed in two weeks.

Parkinson’s Law highlights one of the many inefficiencies that are inadvertently built into operational systems. While you should be careful not to overreact to Parkinson’s Law by setting unreasonable deadlines, you should be aware of how your employees can be led astray in a way that affects resource allocation and quality control.

In today’s hypercompetitive marketplace, the integrity of your operations matter. Whether you’re a club operator, equipment manufacturer, or another type of supplier, you depend on a team of professionals who work together to make your brand a success. If your operations are poorly designed, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Not only can you waste precious resources, your company can end up creating an inferior product or delivering poor service.

Poor systems also endanger employees and club members. It’s easy to see how a lack of attention to detail in a club can lead to dangerous conditions. Trainers and staff need to be properly trained to maintain high standards of safety and quality.

But it’s not just clubs. Suppliers also need to pay attention to their operational efficiencies. Safety can be compromised by poorly constructed equipment that result from a sloppy production process. Think of today’s technologically advanced exercise machines. The more complex they are, the more things that can go wrong. Buggy equipment can lead to costly repairs or, worse, injuries.

Inefficient systems can also affect software developers, too. Poorly coded programs can invite malware or make it easy for hackers to steal valuable data. There’s just too much at stake.

So how do you avoid these inefficiency traps?

5S: The Gold Standard of System Operations

Strategy And Finance Intenza 5S Facility Interior Column

A production line at the Intenza manufacturing facility in Tainan, Taiwan.

The systems you put in place matter a great deal. And one of the most successful is the 5S methodology. Developed in Japan, the 5S system utilizes these five principles for workplace organization and efficiency:

  1. Sort: Put things in order by removing all unnecessary items and organizing and storing only what’s useful.
  2. Set in order: Arrange work stations in a logical and efficient way, so workflow is smooth.
  3. Shine: Sweep, clean, and inspect the work area on a regular basis to keep it pleasing to work in.
  4. Standardize: Introduce procedures to ensure that these standards are maintained. Often organizations let their standards slack when they don’t do regular audits of their procedures.
  5. Sustain (self-discipline): Once you’ve applied the first four principles, this one rule makes certain that 5S is followed from top to bottom even when new products and employees are added to the team.

Research has found that applying 5S can increase profitability, lower costs, and enhance workplace safety. According to the book Succeeding with 5S by Oskar Olofsson: “As a rule of thumb: a workplace can achieve a 10% increase in productivity after completing a 5S programme. It does depend on the initial state of affairs: the worse when you started, the greater the improvement.”

In many ways, 5S is a form of visual control. Everything should be in its place as part of a logical system that eliminates obstacles and waste. If implemented correctly, you’ll quickly gain in your bottom line, but you’ll also enhance your entire company by creating a culture of efficiency and high organizational standards.

5S is a concept whose time has come. If your business puts a priority on sustainability, then 5S is the way to go. Manufacturers have reduced their carbon footprint dramatically after implementing 5S. But you don’t have to be a manufacturer to benefit from the system. Even administrative facilities have found success after introducing 5S into their organizations.

Clearly, 5S can benefit any industry. As a club, you may find doing business with suppliers who follow 5S dictates can give you a sense of security that you’re receiving goods and services from a partner who puts a priority on quality and reliability. That matters.

Bringing the Highest Possible Standards to the Industry

Strategy And Finance Intenza 5S Facility Exterior Column

The exterior of the Intenza manufacturing facility in Tainan, Taiwan.

One company that has implemented 5S methods into their manufacturing and operations is global equipment brand Intenza Fitness. Known for their technologically advanced exercise machines and award-winning design, Intenza places a premium on maintaining world-class engineering along with the highest possible product quality. What emerges from their manufacturing facilities is the result of rigorous systems that leave no detail unattended.

Reliability is important for club owners. Intenza makes sure that every machine is tested and weighed before it is boxed for delivery. Each machine includes their built-in reporting system called InCare, a highly advanced diagnostic tool that sends alerts when routine maintenance or repairs are needed.

Their product line of forward-thinking machines include:

  • Escalate Stairclimber, Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018
  • The 550 Series of advanced treadmills, recumbent bikes, and upright bikes.
  • 550GC Series of indoor bikes that creates an authentic outdoor bike experience

Intenza also places a high priority on sustainability. Their factory in Tainan, Taiwan, is 100% energy efficient and has been since it opened all the way back in 2013. The facility uses solar panels (nearly 2,000 of them) and building elements designed to help minimize the impact on climate change. The result is a manufacturing facility that produces one of the lowest carbon imprints in the industry.

Intenza believes that utilizing 5S methodology and green technologies helps them not only improve their organizational efficiency, but also maintain the highest possible standards for their state-of-the-art cardio units.

For more information on Intenza’s line of advanced products, visit their website today.

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