5s is a process often used at the start of lean manufacturing programs to help optimize the workplace (for information on 5s click the link). In part one of the 5s process “SORT” a process is required to place items that are not needed or require review before they are removed from the workplace.

Red tagging involves placing a tag on any item where the need is still to be determined. The tag itself isn’t important and can be either self made or purchased from a specialized company (examples of red tags can be found here). The card should carry a range of information including the department the item relates too , why it’s been tagged and a contact name.

The red tag process

The process involved for red tagging can vary between companies but usually follows the following steps

1/ Items are sorted as part of the usual 5s process
2/ Items of indeterminate need are tagged and placed in a holding area
3/ After the sort process all red tagged items are reviewed
4/ Items not needed are discarded
5/ Items needed are then processed to the next stage of the 5s process.

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