When implementing Lean methodologies for organizational transformation, most companies use the Five S system as a starting point. This is because 5S is regarded as one of the essential pillars of any Lean workplace. To date, many organizations have been able to eliminate non-value adding work and waste using the 5S system which has proven to be very effective when it comes to improving productivity and efficiency. Read on to find out how to use 5S System to eliminate waste from your organization.
The Lean Five S methodology was developed originally in Japan as a visual management system for the factory floor, but it can be applied to just any environment whether it’s an office, electronic filing system or a home organization. Although the 5S system is a very important for waste elimination, it’s also useful for instilling the discipline that is needed for the workplace to remain well-organized as well as for encouraging process thinking.
How to use 5S System to eliminate waste
The 5S is used in referenced to five Japanese words which enumerate Toyota Production System for workplace organization and cleanliness. Here is a brief outline of the Five S implementation process:
First, you will start with Seiri which means to sort everything. During this phase, you would remove anything that is outdated, broken, never used or is not needed from your organization.
Seiton refers to the second stage of the process and this word means to set in order. At this point, you would put away and organize everything to make the work space more efficient. For instance, all the frequently used tools or equipment must be kept close to the area where they will be used. Once everything is in the right place, it will be easier for workers to get whatever they need without much effort.
Next, you have Seiso which means shine. This means that you should carry out a thorough cleaning of the work environment to make it as spotless as you possibly can.
Seiketsu is the fourth step and it means to standardize. You must develop procedures that will help to maintain the orderly and clean environment. To do this, you can create visuals such as paint outlines or labels so that everyone will know where to put the different work tools and equipment. This way, it will be easier to see when items are missing or misplaced.
Shitsuke is the fifth stage and this word means to sustain. To achieve success after implementing the 5S system, it must become a regular habit. You have to monitor the improvement closely to prevent disorder and clutter from ruining your 5S efforts.
Even though this is just a brief outline of the Five S implementation process, it’s first and most important step to take if you want to increase the efficiency of all business functions. Many believe that this 5S system is very unique because of how the activities are approached in a systematic way. Ultimately, you will discover that the core activities of 5S are completely logical because they are basic rules for effective workplace management.