What is the meaning of 5S?
5S is another manufacturing tool developed by Toyota Production System to improve the production of products. It runs under the idea that the untidy and cluttered workstations are not productive. The 5S originally are Japanese words but have been anglicized by different educators and writers. In this article, the original Japanese word and the English version are introduced. 5S training is done in order to implement the 5S program so that the creation of an ergonomic and efficient work environment would be realized. 5S is the first thing that most management introduces in order to change from traditional management to Lean management. This is because 5S is easy to implement and there is immediate change after it is properly implemented.
1. Seiri (Sort) – the first of the 5S, which means the recognition of the best material organization of the work environment. These are series of steps that identifies which items should be in the workplace, which items shouldn’t be there or which items are wrongly designated. Simply put it, useful items should be segregated from useless items.
2. Seiton (Set) – the second S, which means the orderliness of things, is a series of steps by which one is to optimize the organization of things identified after seiri.
3. Seison (Shine) – the third S means to clean, which means that one has to establish and maintain a clean work environment. Seiso has two important tasks: the first one is to identify who is responsible for each area and two is to schedule, which day and which time to do the cleaning.
4. Seiketsu (Standardization) – the fourth S means to standardize the first 3S. Since there is the possibility that employees will easily forget something that has just been introduce, it would be good to have a schedule to remind the employees on a regular basis what 5S is.
5. Shitsuke (Sustain) – the last S focused on the idea of Discipline. The idea is that not just to remind the employees of the importance of 5S but to capture the hearts and minds of the employees and to make the employees appreciate the importance of practicing housekeeping and organization.
5S is just one of the different tools needed to implement a holistic company but in it, results can be noticed as long as practiced properly.