5S Consulting and Training Services


5S Systems:

~ A place for everything, everything in its place, and a purpose for every item we have on hand ~

Of all the many process improvement efforts known in the business world 5S may very well be the one that is, in theory, the simplest yet most effective in producing highly visual results quickly. However, it is very beneficial to bring in a fresh pair of eyes.

The basics of 5S are as follows:

  •   Seiri (Sort)

  •   Seiton (Set in order)

  •   Seiso (Shine)

  •   Seiketsu (Standardize)

  •   Shitsuke (Sustain)1

What does it all mean?

We sort through and sort out unneeded items. This phase of 5S begins with a red-tagging activity. We first select an area for temporarily storing red tagged items. We then select an area for improvement. It is best to select a pilot area. The reason being, we can quickly produce highly visible results and get others in the organization interested. Bring in someone that does not work in that area to help. Go through the area thoroughly and put a red tag on everything that is not needed. Place the red tagged items in the temporary storage area. Allow other departments to look through the items and claim them if they have a legitimate need. Employees should be discouraged from claiming items for the purpose of hording. They must be able to give sound reasoning for claiming items. Remember, we are not cleaning up one area just to have junk transferred to other departments. 30 days after items have been in the temporary storage area unclaimed items should be sold, given away, returned to suppliers, or disposed of. A good rule of thumb is "when in doubt throw it out". A fresh pair of eyes may help you identify which items should be removed.

Set in Order
Once the unneeded items are removed from an area it is now time to organize what is left. Identify the best place for remaining items and establish visual controls. Mark where items should be placed. This not only helps organize the area but also helps us quickly identify missing items. At this time it is important to set reasonable inventory limits.

Plain and simple. Clean everything inside and out. Continue to do so on a regular basis. This not only greatly improves appearance but also assists in preventative maintenance. You can often identify equipment problems during the process of cleaning.

Create rules for maintaining, controlling, and enforcing the first 3S's and use visual controls.

Ensure adherence to 5S standards through training, communication, and self-discipline.

5S Training

For assistance with 5S feel free to contact us.

1. Hiroyuki Hirano, 5S for Operators: 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace, Productivity Press, 1996

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