The following meetings and tools can be utilized as part of an SMOS.
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Pre-sanitation preparation meeting. The objective of this meeting is to review and discuss improvements or changes that have been implemented since the previous sanitation cycle, production cutoff times to determine what and when sanitation preparation activities will take place, food safety considerations for the upcoming sanitation cycle, and workforce availability and assignments.
Sanitation visual board. This is used to monitor sanitation cycle time on a short interval control basis. Also, the sanitation visual board can be used for other items such as communication of assignments, pending corrective actions from previous sanitation cycles, and discussion of the performance of prior sanitation cycles. The sanitation visual board is a strong visual aid during sanitation shift pass-on meetings.
Sanitation shift pass-on meeting. The objective of this meeting is for leads and supervisors to review and discuss the status of the sanitation efforts, watch-outs, or areas that require extra cleaning, as well as any challenges presented during the previous shift.
Sanitation post-mortem meeting. Sanitation performance is reviewed through measures such as actual sanitation cycle time versus planned cycle time, number of re-cleans, microbial loads, labor hours, and setup and start-up times.
III. Use Kaizen Events as a Platform to Continuously Improve. Who better to help make improvements than those who execute the work? The philosophy of kaizen is to involve all employees in making small, incremental improvements in their work areas every day while giving the process owners the tools to continually improve the process, resulting in the removal of time and resource waste.
Kaizen events is a proven technique that will accelerate improvements and change while gaining employee support and buy-in.
The first step is to develop a kaizen charter to define the problem and scope, determine the impact to business and target, identify team members, and set the schedule. This is followed by training to teach the team basic lean techniques and, most importantly, the principles of SMED, 5S, and standard work. After everyone is trained, sanitation must be observed to identify variances in the process and standard work routines or to identify improvements.
Once observation is completed, the team will brainstorm and prioritize ideas for improvement. The idea is to implement most of the ideas during the kaizen event, but action items will be captured for those ideas that require more time to implement. It will be critical to define and agree to a kaizen follow-up strategy to ensure completion of all action items.
Finally, we must measure the results and celebrate the victories!
Sanitation improvement efforts are not a one-and-done event. A process management operating system and kaizen execution require a structured, disciplined approach where sponsorship and follow-up from upper management are paramount.
Frias, a transformation director at Myrtle Consulting Group, has more than 18 years of experience in manufacturing and operations. Reach him at email@example.com.
Special Note: The author would like to thank Ted Curry, manager at Myrtle Consulting Group, for his contributions to this article.
The 5S Method
As Industry Editor Richard Stier summarized in his February/March 2019 article on tips to enhance food quality and safety programs, the 5S method can be described simply as “Everything has a place and everything in its place.” It was first developed in Japan with the five “S”s as seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. These translate to sort, set location, shine and sweep, standardize, and sustain.—FQ&S