ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Employees in the Turret Systems #2/Artillery Branch have cleaned and reorganized their shop throughout the last several months.

The idea began with the employees as they realized some paint, new fixtures and a dedicated flow for products through the shop would enable them to work more efficiently and effectively.

The changes, literally, are from the floor up.

"This used to be the transmission shop, so the floor was saturated with oil," said Stacy Thornton, a leader in the Turret Systems #2/Artillery Branch.

Using products to pull as much oil from the concrete as possible, employees cleaned the floor then chose a color which would not easily show stains and marks.

The dark gray they chose was applied in all the aisles throughout the shop and is now being applied to their sister shop across the street.

A lighter gray tone was painted on the floors throughout the rest of the building, beginning the delineation between work spaces and walkways or aisles.

Using colors designated by Anniston Army Depot to symbolize waste areas, cleaning supplies, recycling bins, storage areas and other spaces, lines were painted throughout the shop and areas which required color coding were given a fresh coat of paint.

Striping on the floor outlines the path for forklifts and provides a reminder for pedestrians when moving throughout the shop.

Areas around electrical cabinets were also painted, reminding employees to keep those areas clear.

"Organizing, striping, labeling and color coding are efforts associated with 6S and ultimately result in a safer, more productive workplace," said Lance Pilgrim from the depot's Safety Office.

With the addition of new fixtures to hold parts and cleaning supplies, the new work flow was taking shape.

"The way things flow through the shop is nicer," said Kenny Norman. "There is an increase in productivity and the work areas are safer."

"You can see at a glance if anything is out of place," said Thornton.

As an added bonus to the cleaner, more productive environment, the employees are able to take pride in the fact they enacted the change themselves and have taken ownership of their work environment.

"All the employees really bought in to the 6S concepts and worked hard at the improvements," said Michael Collier, the branch's supervisor. "That enthusiasm spread to our other two buildings to the point where those employees wanted to improve their own work areas."