5s - Foundation for Continuous Improvement

What is 5s?

- A Lean tool developed by the Japanese - Toyota Production System (TPS)
- Foundation for continuous improvement - Must exist before improvement maturity can occur
- 5S Process creates an organized, clean and safe workplace
- When 5s is achieve, then anyone can distinguish between normal and abnormal conditions at a glance
- 5S involves employee participation

Why Implement 5s?

- Implementing 5S across the organization will
- Install a continuous improvement mindset
- Improve employee productivity and efficiency
- Eliminate Non-Value Added activities
- Create a robust foundation for Lean Six Sigma

What Are the 5s Steps?

Sort: Clearly distinguish needed items from unneeded items and eliminate the latter; Sort means that you remove all items from the workplace that are not needed for current tasks.
- It does not mean that you only remove the items that you know you may never need.
- It does not mean that you simply arrange things in a neater fashion.

If you sort, you only leave the bare essentials - “When in doubt, throw it out.”
- Identify potential unneeded items:
- Is this item needed?
- If it is needed, is it needed in this quantity?
- If it is needed, does it need to be located here?
- Place “Red-Tags” on those items that are not needed
- Evaluate and deal with unneeded items
- Move unneeded items to a red tag holding area for a period of time - this area must be created
- Dispose of immediately - Sell, Relocate, Throw Away

Set In Order (also known as Simplify): Keep needed items in the correct place to allow for easy and immediate retrieval. Set in order means that you arrange the items that are needed in the area and identify them or label them so that anyone can find them or put them away. The key word is “anyone”.
- Draw a 5S map showing the best location for files, office equipment, and materials based on frequency of use.
- Store items together if they are used together and store them in the sequence they are used
- Store infrequently used items away from the point of use
Make a place for everything using:
- Borders: Sets boundaries, areas
- Home Addresses: Tells what item belongs inside the border
- Labels: Tells what the item is and where it belongs

Shine (also known as Shine): Keep the work space orderly and clean. Shine emphasizes removing the dirt, grime, and dust from the work area. This is a program of keeping the work area swept and clean of debris.
- Determine the shine targets - what are we going to clean?
- Set a schedule and assign ownership of tasks to individuals
- Create procedures for continued daily shine processes
- Set periodic equipment inspection and maintenance targets

Standardize: Standardized cleanup. This is the condition we support when we maintain the first three pillars. Create a consistent way of implementing the tasks that are performed on a daily basis including “Sort”, “Set in Order”, and “Shine.” “Do the right things the right way, every time. Document the procedures and guidelines for sorting, simplifying and organizing
- Visual controls guidelines
- Item quantity requirements

Document the schedule in which they are to be completed and reviewed
- Housekeeping standards
- Workplace arrangement methods

Sustain (also known as Self-Discipline): Make a habit of maintaining established procedures. Sustain means that the 5S program has a discipline that ensures it's continued success and that the 5S mentality is ingrained in everyday work life and procedures. Don't let it become another “flavor of the day”

A Process for Implementing 5s?

1. Open the Event: Management kickoff 5S
2. Prepare the Team: Explain benefits of 5s; Teams are usually representative of the 5s area and usually 4-6 members in size
3. Get the Facts: Take pictures of current layout; measure inventory; count items; estimate value
4. Assess the Waste: Rework, Trash, Duplication; etc…
5. Generate improvement ideas: 10-20 minutes average - no more than 1 hour
6. Select the best ideas: An affinity diagram may help before making final selection
7. Make improvements: Target improvements that can be completed in less than 1 week first
8. Measure the Results: Show before and after picture, track savings in travel distances, etc..

No. of Times this article has been viewed : 2108
Date Published : Dec 12 2010

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