What is 5s

Filed Under Improve 

5s is an improvement methodology that  places emphasis on everything having its own place in the workplace negating wasted effort in looking for lost items.  Key stages of 5s are determining what and how items are stored.

5S is usually coupled with sixsigma, it’s origins are in Japanese automotive and it’s main goal is an organized and efficient workstation.  5s is actually a reference to five Japanese words beginning with S but these are often translated into English with the 5s’s being

Sort – Separate items that are needed at the workstation from those that are not
Set in order – Organize places for required items so that they are found easily
Sweep – Keep a clean workplace
Standardize – Maintain the workplace in the same way everyday
Sustain – Maintain 5s as part of a daily routine within the workplace.

5s methods are quite common in many businesses – for example the use of shadow boards for tools are a 5s they instantly show what tools are missing and allow for storage when not in use.

5s can be applied in all business areas not just manufacturing – its equally applicable to office environments, repair shops as well as production lines – its fairly inexpensive to implement and doesnt require huge resources – once applied the owner of the workstation can be charged with sustaining the program.

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