5S is the
name of a system that improves workplace efficacy and eliminates waste. “This system focuses on putting everything
where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which makes it easier for
people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury.”(What is 5S?,
n.d.) The 5S comes from following Japanese words and definitions:
Seiri (Sort) – Making sure each item is in
the proper place or it needs to be labeled as unnecessary and discarded.
Seiton (Set in Order) – Organize,
identify, and arrange everything to reduce motion and improve productivity. By keeping only the essential materials close,
start using a workflow that is more streamline and adds visual organization,
and increase efficiency.
Seiso (Shine) – Regular cleaning and
maintenance. Make sure the work area is
clean. Find all the sources of contamination
and eliminate them.
Seiketsu (Standardize) – Make it easy to
maintain by simplifying and standardizing.
Use a typical and reliable 5S workflow.
Make sure everyone knows their responsibilities by assigning tasks and
Shitsuke (Sustain) – Maintain what has
been accomplished. 5S needs to be a long-term
goal that is shared throughout the company.
By, training employees on the value of 5S and analyzing results, maintaining
can be accomplished.
is considered a great tool to identify and eliminate waste. Even though it is
considered a housekeeping technique, it is essentially a modern management
system that assists people into thinking lean, laying down the foundation for
the adoption of Lean principles in the organization. Organizations that use 5S
methodology are using one of the foundations of the Six Sigma principles. “When fully implemented, the 5S process
increases morale, creates positive impressions on customers, and increase
efficiency and organization. Not only will employees feel better about where
they work, the effect on continuous improvement can lead to less waste, better
quality and faster lead times” (Mahalik, n.d.)
can improve quality, efficiency, and safety in the workplace by the following:
Providing a cleaner and safer work
areas. This is achieved by making a work
area orderly and structured. Making sure
tripping hazards and other risks are removed.
Delivering a reduced amount of misused time
by using organization in the workplace.
Keeping tools and materials more available and neat, employees take less
time to get what they need and use little time to search for needed items.
less space. By eliminating unneeded items, the ones that are required are
organized. This making the mandatory
floor space smaller in size.
Gaining better self-discipline. By using the
5S methodology, abnormal conditions are more noticeable, and in turn, makes overlooking
standards more challenging.
Obtaining an enriched culture. Systematically
applying 5S fosters a better, enthusiastic teamwork environment.
When I worked for IT at a local
health insurance company, I found a storage room that had many types of
expensive technical hardware on shelves.
This hardware was ordered for projects or replacements for existing
hardware that was cancelled and not needed.
The room was much unorganized and no one kept track of the hardware. Duplicate hardware was being purchased for
upcoming projects, even though the same hardware was in the storage room, never
to be used. The 5S methodology could
have been used in this situation to sort out what was needed and remove what
was not. Set in order the things that
will be needed so no time would be spent looking for items. Shine the area so that it was a safe room to
go through and find equipment. Sustain
what had been accomplished so nothing would get unorganized and the hardware
would be used. Finally, standardize the
procedures for placing hardware and later retrieving it so a formalized system