Developed in Japan - 5S Methodology is a philosophy that advocates using specific steps to organize the workplace as well as working practices. Its goals are to improve efficiency and eliminate waste as well as improving safety and morale in the workplace.
The five steps to improve efficiency are:
Sort (Seiri): Sort and categorize items and separate what is needed - allowing only the bare essentials needed for operation and removing everything else. The elimination of excessive items frees up space, saves time, improves process flow, and allows staff to operate efficiently.
Straighten or Set in Order (Seiton): Arrange items that are needed so that they are easy to locate, transport and use. Identify locations for all items so that anyone can find them. Once the task is completed, return the items to specified locations.
Shine (Seiso): Clean the workplace and equipment on a regular basis in order to increase safety, maintain standards and identify defects.
Standardize (Seiketsu): Revisit the first three of the 5S on a regular and frequent basis and evaluate the condition of the workplace.
Sustain (Shitsuke): Maintain the standard and improve every day. We've provided the Japanese Word for each corresponding step of the 5S Methodology - so we'll expand on this last "S" with one more. That Japanese Word is "Kaizen". It comes from the words "Kai" (Which means change) and "Zen" (Which means to make good/better). Put them together - and you have the principle of constant improvement and/or a change for the better.
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