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LEAN TOOL

5S

5S is the name of a workplace organisation method that uses a list of five Japanese words: Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set), Seiso (Shine), Seiketsu (Standardise), and Shitsuke (Sustain).

The aim of 5S is to organise a company’s activities in order to increase productivity, reduce waste and create cost-savings

SORT

(Seiri)

Sort through contents of a work area and remove unnecessary items.

SET

(Seiton)

Where you arrange necessary items for easy and efficient access in demarcated areas. .

SHINE

(Seiso)

Where you clean everything in your work area, floor, workshop etc to ensure that your workplace and equipment are properly maintained and cleaned.

STANDARDISE

(Seiketsu)

This is where you create visual guidelines to keep the area organised, orderly and clean.

SUSTAIN

(Shitsuke)

Educate and communicate to ensure that 5S standards are followed. Continually train and reinforce the importance of 5S to maintain the improvements.

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EXAMPLE OF 5S IN AN OFFICE

Rick’s trip to the far East

Our MD, Rick McCarthy recently visited Japan for a Lean Study tour. Here he writes about his experience with Dr Kobayashi who’s father created the 20 Keys that are crucial to develop a world class company.

I was in Japan on a Lean Study Tour. The leader of our tour was Dr Kobayashi. His father created 20 Keys in 1982. 20 Keys is a way to implement Lean/Lean Thinking. It makes sense that the first Key is 5S – Cleaning & Organising. The Lean office is set up just like any other production area, safe, clean, and built for speed. They say, if you can’t get past Key 1, then you are doomed to fail the rest.

To read more on Rick’s Trip to Japan visit our blog

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Where ever there is a phone you will also find a pen and paper and phone lists

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Example of a desk after applying 5S

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Supply Cupboard. Notice there are no doors to make it easier to access and easier to keep clean

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