‘‘5S’’ is a concept with Japanese roots, focused on fostering and sustaining a clean, organized, systematic and safe workplace. The physical environment determines one’s behavior and there is a strong link between the physical environment at a workplace and productivity culture. ‘‘5S’’ is the beginning of a productive life for everyone, and directly results in enhanced productivity, better Quality, reduced costs and significantly higher employee morale. It is a time tested and proven approach and in fact a stepping stone to achieving World-Class Operations.
KIAP has supported over 50 organizations in implementing 5S. We firmly believe that 5S is inseparable from Lean and our guidance to the organization is in line with Lean philosophy, namely quality, continuous improvement, customer orientation and flow. The implementation journey therefore involves a continual process of identifying, reducing and eliminating MUDA (a Japanese term describing non-value Adding activities).
Who can apply ‘5S’
The ‘5S’ concept is simple and easy for everyone to understand. It does not demand understanding of any difficult terminology’s or concepts. It is simple, driven by logic and natural to human behavior.
- ‘5S’ can be applied in any private and public companies – of any size
- It can be practiced by any company in any business: manufacturing, commerce, service etc
- It is applicable across the public sector and government institutions.
- It can be applied in schools / educational institutions as well.
5S is all inclusive and requires the active involvement of each and every employee to be a success. One of the first moves in implementing 5S would be to define a structure comprising of one and all. The entire gemba (workplace) would be divided into manageable structures with a well-defined cell leader and zone champion who would ensure that some changes always happen somewhere in the zone every week. These changes would flow in the two steps mentioned below
Step 1: At first, importance is given to material / information discipline. This ensures proper identification and makes It easier to identify non-flowing material. It also prevents material from getting abused, such as wrong storage procedure, no FIFO or getting mixed up with rejects and rework. This coupled with PEEP (Place for everything and everything in place) principle makes the gemba vigilant for avoiding searching as well as obsolescence.
Step 2: We bring the focus to process requirement and organize the work place so that the value adding activity can be performed with minimum of Muda, Mura and Muri. This is an endless journey and a meaningful participation from all involved makes life of the worker simpler, process speedier and improved flow of material / information.
Benefits resulting from practice of 5s
- Safety (preventing accidents),
- Productivity (eliminating waste),
- Quality (preventing errors),
- And equipment maintenance (reduction is breakdowns).
Apart from these, some other benefits that can reaped by implementing ‘5S’ includes:
- Workplace becomes clean and better organized.
- Shop floor and office operation becomes easier and safer.
- Results are visible to everyone.
- Visible results enhance generation of more and new ideas.
- People feel proud and are disciplined.
- Resultant good company image generates more business.
- Total employee participation in improving the shop floor management is possible.