5S – Workplace Organisation…. And Much More!

5S is in place in ALL world class organisations, it aims to:

  • Remove waste from the workplace.
  • Provide reduction in non value added activities.
  • Provide an environment where continuous improvement is embraced.
  • Improve safety.
  • Increase quality.

Step 1 (Seiri) Sort

  • Clearout and Classify
  • Identify
  • what you KNOW you definitely need all the time.
  • what you KNOW you definitely need occasionally.
  • what you THINK you might need in the future.
  • what you THINK you no longer need.
  • Never Assume. Ensure that everyone is in agreement.
  • Check to make sure that what you think becomes what you KNOW.
  • Remember! Redundant items cost money to store – If you don’t need it don’t keep it!

Step 2 (Seiton) Set in Order

  • Configure
  • Put Everything in its correct place
  • Organise storage for all equipment i.e. what, where, how many.
  • Frequency of use defines location relative to point of use.
  • If its used frequently keep it close / low frequency store offline.
  • Shop organisation must have clear walkways, work areas, rest areas. etc.
  • Consider using different coloured floor areas to highlight walkways, work, storage areas etc.
  • All essentials such as fire extinguishers and safety equipment must be visible and easily accessible.

The place must be

  • Appropriate to usage
  • Well maintained
  • Tools Easily located
  • Tools / locations Clearly identified

A place for everything and everything in its place

Step 3 (Seiso) Shine

Clean and Check

  • Regular cleaning schedules are required
  • Create a clean and tidy working environment and maintain it.
  • Define responsibility zones for cleaning areas, and clarify roles and responsibilities.
  • Develop regular routines for maintaining a clean environment (e.g.. 5 min 5 S etc).

Cleaning must become an activity which is:

  • Ongoing
  • Monitored
  • A source of pride
  • Seen as a value added contribution

Cleanliness is the basis of quality. Once the workplace is clean it must be maintained, creating a spotless workplace.

Step 4 (Seiketsu) Standardise

  • Conformity
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Decide what is classed as an abnormality and make it visible to the operator.
  • Design clear, standard labels for locations, tools, machine conditions and locate them in standard positions.
  • Provide indicators where limits can be exceeded.
  • Draw position markers in places where items are removed and returned.

Agree and set :

  • Standards of cleanliness.
  • Procedures for maintaining standards.
  • Standard marking and labelling of all items.
  • Standard methods for indicating limits, identifying locations, etc.

The system must be controlled and maintained.

Step 5 (Shitsuke) Sustain

Custom and Practice

  • Adhere to the system rules
  • Develop and maintain habits through training and discipline. (At all times)
  • Use visual rather than verbal communication to train for new procedures.
  • Involve everyone in the development of standard documentation.(e.g.. Checksheets etc.)
  • Be conscious of time (3-10min).
  • It is important to maintain discipline
  • Incorrect practices must be identified.
  • Correct practices have to be taught and demonstrated.
  • Ensure everyone’s understanding and agreement.

Without training and discipline the other steps will fail