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5s Techniques

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  • March 2011
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Effectiveness of 5S – Our Experience

1.0 Introduction

If you want to get a first-hand or clear idea of an organization and its culture, walk around its premises and observe the housekeeping practices – the way the floors are swept, the work tables organized, the tools and stationery stored, the way the toilets are kept and the way the equipments are maintained. These often tell more than any financial statement. They are closely linked to the flow of activities, employees’ morale, product quality and inventory level. An organization with good housekeeping practices is able to control costs, foster greater safety, enhance customer satisfaction and reduce staff turnover.

2.0 Basics of 5S

2.1 What is 5S?

Good housekeeping contributes to productivity improvement and the methodology for good housekeeping is the concept popularly known as 5S, which originated from Japan. 5S is the acronym for 5 Japanese words. 5S removes waste from work environment through better workplace organization, standardization, visual communication and general cleanliness. 5S factories are so well organized that abnormal situations will be readily apparent. The methods are so simple that you can learn it today and start practicing it today itself. The applications of 5S are universal and can be applied at the work places, at homes, at public places like roads, bus stands, railways stations etc.

2.2 The Five S’s

In Japanese the Five S’s are Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. The English equivalent are Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

2.3 Seiri

Seiri is eliminating unnecessary items from the workplace and to keep only what is required for daily usage.

All unwanted items are removed and placed in a specially demarcated area called ‘red tag area’ with a slip called ‘red tag’ . The Red tag slip will describe the item, quantity and date of tagging. The removed items are moved to a more organized storage location outside the work area from where...