Efficiency and cleanliness translate to better customer experiences.
How safe and efficient is your equipment rental vendor? The answer makes a difference to your rental experience, the condition of the equipment your rent and even, possibly, to the price you pay. One way to tell is by asking if they are 5S certified.
What is 5S?
5S is a method pioneered by Toyota leaders in Japan for keeping a workplace clean and organized to make it more efficient, safe and enjoyable for employees and customers. Based on five principles — sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain (or self-discipline) ─ the 5S process creates order, cleanliness and standardization in the workplace to drive safety and improve the bottom line.
To instill a 5S mindset across an organization, some companies require 5S certification for their employees, from upper management to service and sales support. Certification typically includes a blend of online and in-person workplace training, regular audits and self-assessments.
Why should 5S matter to equipment rental customers?
Here are a few reasons you should consider renting from a company that embraces the 5S philosophy.
Time is money, and downtime adds up. You need tools and equipment in good working order with zero defects. Rental companies with a 5S culture clean items routinely and perform regular preventative maintenance to ensure that the items you rent won’t disappoint or cause delays. If you experience an equipment failure during the course of your rental, a vendor with 5S certification is more likely to repair or replace the item quickly so you can get back to work sooner.
A more efficient workplace frees employees to focus on customers. Inventory that is organized, sorted and easy to find means less time processing your order and faster equipment delivery. Better inventory management also reduces storage space and lost or misplaced equipment — hidden costs that can impact the price of your rental.
The rental process should never be stressful. An uncluttered shop with clear signs showing where to pick up and drop off equipment results in smoother checkouts. You experience an easy transaction, without delays or hassles.
Safety for all
A clean, organized environment is safer for employees and customers. Fewer trips, falls and other accidents may reduce a company’s healthcare and insurance costs, and those savings may be passed on to customers. Healthy, happy employees are more likely to provide a better overall customer experience. In addition, rentals that are well maintained and checked for defects result in safer end-user experiences.
5S at United Rentals
At United Rentals, 5S is not a one-time event to clean the shop. It is part of the company’s “safety first and always” culture, which is engrained in every employee.
Here are some examples of how United Rentals puts 5S into action.
United Rentals removes scrap iron, used parts and other junk to create cleaner, safer shops, parts areas and yards. Because unneeded or broken items are segregated and tagged, employees can easily find equipment and tools so they can fulfill customer orders quickly and efficiently.
Set in order
United Rentals employees live by the mantra, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” For example, all shop tools, such as hydraulic presses, grinders, and welding equipment, are put in designated places clearly marked on the floor so all shop employees know where the equipment is. Frequently used parts such as oil filters may be stored in the middle of the shop versus the end, reducing the time it takes for mechanics to locate and reach them. When items are “set in order,” repairs are faster.
A clean environment is a safe environment. Keeping items off the floor, including mud and dirt, reduces accidents. Directional signs for customers returning equipment streamlines the return process. Delivery, sales and service trucks are clean, organized, stocked and checked for defects before leaving a branch to ensure they are in good condition for the customer.
United Rentals documents its methods and procedures to maintain consistency at every location. The appearance of every branch is standardized, too. Pictures posted in the showroom and counter area define what each area should look like. Shop walkways, storage areas, tools and emergency exit routes are clearly marked. Branches are audited quarterly and annually using a 5S compliance checklist.
5S is a team effort at United Rentals. Employees at just about every level, from senior managers to dispatchers and drivers, are committed to the process. Nearly all are certified in 5S principles using a combination of online learning and workplace training. Branch Safety Champions work with employees to promote safe practices and perform monthly inspections. Along with scheduled audits, these checks help maintain a culture of continuous review and improvement.
Companies that embrace a 5S culture are committed to the principles of zero defects, zero accidents, cost reductions and safety. As a United Rentals customer, you can count on consistent, hassle-free, smooth transactions and rental-ready equipment when you need it, every time.