Spring Cleaning For Your Business


Spring Cleaning

I was spring cleaning this weekend. This is most definitely not my favorite activity, but necessary in my quest to keep a healthy and happy home for my family. 

As I dusted the cobwebs from my long-neglected window treatments, cleaned out my bathroom medicine cabinet and washed off the shelves and drawers, I had a thought.   Couldn’t we apply these same spring cleaning tasks in our business to create a healthy and happy organization?  What resulted from my thought process was the following 3 step spring cleaning process for your business!

Step 1:  Dust off the cobwebs

I start my cleaning in each room by dusting away the cobwebs and built up dust on windows, furniture and mirrors.

In business, the same principle applies.  When you do this first step in spring cleaning, take a few minutes to see where the dust has collected on your documents.  Are your part prints old or outdated?  What about those Lean Manufacturing project action plans or Value Stream Maps that have not been addressed for a long time? Take some time to dust off these documents and reassemble or create a team to update them.

Sometimes, you don’t have the time or expertise to update needed documents, such as prints.  For example, you have a part that has no updated prints, but that needs to be ordered on a regular basis.  However, you have no way to create a print to the current configuration.  Versatech can use one of two CMM’s (Coordinate Measuring Machines) to reverse engineer the part and create a print. We can also fabricate one or more duplicate parts in one of our machining centers.  So, consider outside resources if you don’t have the time or expertise to do this step.

Step 2:  Clean out closets, file cabinets and desks for unwanted or unnecessary items

We all tend to be hoarders in our workspaces.  We keep training materials because we believe we will pull them out someday to help us do our job.  They never get touched.  We keep Post It notes on our computers or desks to remind us to do things that we have long ago ingrained into our daily routine. 

The problem is, when you have to come in every morning and see the clutter, it immediately causes you to think you are behind and unorganized.  And, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  A clean work area is healthier for your attitude and self-confidence. 

Take a look at your desk and the shelves in your office, cubicle or work area.  Are they cluttered with papers, binders or Post Its?  Look at each document critically, asking yourself, “Have a looked at this or referred to it in the past year?”  If the answer is no, pitch it.  If you are afraid you will forget something if a Post It note isn’t there to remind you, put the content in Evernote or another note keeping program.  Or schedule a task to be done in Nozbe or other task management tool. 

Consider hiring Versatech to do a 5S event in your office area to reduce the clutter!  You will amazed how much more efficient you will be in a clean, organized workspace! 

Step 3:  Wash away the dirt in your work area

Lastly, clean your office, cubicle or work area.  If you share the space with others, schedule a half hour and have each person take care of their work area and help with the common space. Vacuum, dust, and clean your computer screens, phones, and other items in your workspace.  Repair peeling wallpaper.  Clean those Successories pictures that adorn your office.  Put some nice flowers in a vase or a plant in the area to liven up the space.  Spring is a great time to enjoy the colors, even if you are inside!

Why does this make a difference?  Think about how much better you feel when you are surrounded by bright color and clean spaces.  When you walk in to beauty and cleanliness, you will feel more energized and ready to tackle the challenges of the day.  You can even change out flowers or pictures throughout the year to bring more variety to the space.  A clean space also helps reduce the non-value added effort of looking for things to do your job.  Best of all, it will be a cleaner, healthier environment for you and other employees.

By the way, I am by no means saying you only need to do these tasks once a year.  On the contrary, important documents should not gather dust.  After all, you don’t only vacuum and dust once a year!  However, spring brings renewal in our work and personal lives.  Everything is greener and alive in the spring.  Extend the concept of new beginnings to your workplace, do your spring cleaning, and you and your employees will be healthier and happier!