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Construction Majors take 5 “S” seriously!

Sanat Sankrityayan 2014-09-23

India is living a different dream these days. We are living for the good days, creating landmarks by doing things and getting to the execution faster. All businesses are gearing up for the “Make In India” campaign. Ongoing strategic execution is a dream come true for Indian Voters. We are all ready to dream and be heralded as a leading Super Power. Mangalyaan launch creates a turning point in the technological advances and quality assurance of India’s capability. Great Times, I must say!

Industries are organizing events in tune with the national current of Clean India or “”Swachh Bharat”. Our industrial endeavor should be magnetically aligned in the enhancement of the Campaign, bit by bit. Our Leadership urges us as the pursuit of cleanliness can be an economic activity, contributing to GDP growth, reduction in healthcare costs, and a source of employment. (- See more at: )

“We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the Place nor are we going to stop to pick up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin” – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

The times are changing. So are companies. One of our Clients, Tata Housing rolled out an annual program for the rigorous 5 S implementation at all of their sites across the nation. The National Business Excellence Head also extolled 5 S as the need of the hour for becoming the best in class as well as contribute to nation building. 5 S is commonly known as the organized workplace common sense that works on five activities done at site by the real people in practice.

Shown in Pic 1: Everybody is involved in creating Workplace Excellence at Site, Contractor to The Owner and “Engineers” ofcourse.


Shown in Pic 2: The Practice of Cleaning the Tyres of Trucks while coming and leaving the premises of the Construction Site


The Five Principles of 5 S are Sorting, Systematic Arrangement, Spic and Span, Standardize and Self Sustain. The idea of Sorting is to remove the clutter and clear it up from the place. The useful things are systematically placed and used for better ergonomics at workplace. Keeping the site clean is such a delightful activity, it takes away all gloom and bring good charm at site. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Standardization and Self Sustenance must become a routine for the management. Standardization of Processes in terms of Material Handling, Movement and Manpower must be done to save on the Production Cost. Self Sustenance is about creating the Culture at the workplace that drives on the motivation of the people, the high performance team that gets built on the way of implementing till 4th S (Standardization). It originated from Japanese Industrial Productivity Principles of Kaizen, the practice of continual improvement.

All the participants pledged in favor of Safety before the session on 5 S begun. Managers, Engineers and Site Personnel had assembled from more than 20 sites of Tata Housing from all over the nation. Each had a site of their own type, however scrambling loose when it came to 5 S implementation. Practitioner presented the cases and success stories enumerating the focus areas and how to do it. He rolled out the key implementation techniques. To which the majority of the professionals at the end of the program, accepted that they are now super confident of achieving it for their Organization.

5 ‘S’ creates Safety for Construction

The basis of the idea of using 5S (Workplace Excellence) at Construction sites is often because sites are messed-up with huge inventories that is lying everywhere. A large chunk of Inventory is wasted due to weather, improper handling, forgetfulness due to more than one location of material (one type of material stored at more than one location), etc.

We consider ‘Safety’ as the 6th S, which is the last but most important aspect as far as Construction industry is concerned. No. of accidents can be reduced and the productivity is improved. Through good housekeeping, we not only improve labor’s morale but also a sense of belongingness is created.

I hope to see more Construction Companies taking up Kaizen and 5 S Practices on their Sites. Thus enabling the whole nation rise from the debris of Clutter and Non Value Adding Activities and become Role Models for other nations to follow.

Author – Sanat Sankrityayan is a Principal Practitioner with Vedzen Institute for providing implementation and training and hand holding consulting assistance on Lean Kaizen and Six Sigma for Clients from Construction, Healthcare and Manufacturing.

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