Everybody loves being organized. It removes the stress in locating an object or doing a planned activity. Isn’t it amazing that you find your wallet or the car keys in the right place when you want to go out? Or when the books in the shelf are arranged in sequence, you can easily find the book you read in long ago in college. A kitchen in every household is organized. What if one day you reach home after office and couldn’t find the coffee container itself? And when you find it, the container is empty. An organized home or workplace is essential to your happiness. The way to happiness is 5S. It removes clutter and sets up everything in order.
In an organization as well the work becomes easier when the worker finds his tools soon enough and at the right place. 5Sreduces effort, improves efficiency and effectiveness in an organization. The items of regular use when arranged and maintained in order can be easily found. But the tough part of such an arrangement is the process of finding the same item again. Let’s say a shift gets over and the next worker on the same machine has to use a certain tool. It is the same tool the previous worker used. If it is not placed rightly, the next worker has to spend more time finding it.
5S comes from within, the spirit of the workplace and the people practicing it. 5S is made up of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. Let’s see what they are:
Seiri or the 1stS: Seiri means to sort out. An efficient workplace does not need unnecessary items. All the necessary items must be sorted and the unwanted item should be stored somewhere else. By removing what is not required releases occupied space.
Seiton or 2ndS : Seiton means systematic arrangement. After sorting all the necessary items they must arranged in order. When everything is kept in its right place it can easily be found out at the same place anytime. This arrangement is also called PEEP: Place for everything and everything in its Place. Seiton reduces the search time.
Seiso or 3rdS: Seiso means systematic cleaning. Cleanliness ensures tidy conditions all the time. Cleaning the workplace or equipment also informs that the machine or the equipment is in work ready condition. An operator will be happy to work when he finds his workstation clean ready and tools in place.
Seiketsu or 4thS: Seiketsu means Standardization. A set of guidelines make communication easier. Workers or Operators can maintain focus when they find their tools readily available and in place and their workstations clean. Standardization facilitates the processes and tasks. This working methodology helps in achieving higher productivity and better quality at lower cost.
Shitsuke or 5thS: Shitsuke means Sustenance. Any process or working methodology can be perfected when it is discipline is maintained. Sustaining a method allows doing the work right at very first time and at every time.
5S is an important technique to establish a World Class Manufacturing. It makes a workplace simple and successful. By applying Best Practices such as organizations become fit, fast and flexible.