We have come across umpteen concepts and tools which may work or may not work in an organisation, however, there are just a few concepts that can be implemented not just in our organisation but in our daily lives too. One such concept is the famous 5S under Lean and Six Sigma. 5s is a famous concept which unknowingly we all would have followed at least once in a lifetime.

Let’s break it down for you and get started with 5S.

5 (S)tarters for Companies to save time and money

5S is a Lean tool that helps in sorting and organising various departments in an organisation. The following is the list of five Japanese words and their translation in English.

(Seiri) Sorting and prioritizing:

Going through all the tools, materials, etc., in the work area and keeping only the essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded.

(Seiton) Straighten or set in order:

Focuses on efficiency, by arranging the tools, equipment, visual dashboards and parts in a manner that promotes workflow. For everything there should be a place and everything should be in its place.

(Seisō) Shining or cleanliness:

Systematic cleaning, or the need to keep the workplace clean as well as neat. At the end of each shift, the work area is cleaned up and everything is restored to its place.

(Seiketsu) Standardizing:

Aligning work practices, or operating in a consistent fashion. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are in order to be at par with the previous three S’s.

(Shitsuke) Sustaining the discipline:

Maintaining and reviewing standards. Once the previous four S’s have been established, they become the new way to operate.
Initially, 5S had significance in the manufacturing arena, but it has expanded into all areas of industries and operations.
The above mentioned are the exact way to follow 5S correctly, now let’s introduce this concept in our household and see what are the areas that can be improved.

S1 – Sorting:

Eliminate unnecessary things. Keep only what is needed. Undertake major cleaning. Save money on buying unnecessary additional storage and equipment that won’t serve you long.

S2 – Set in order:

Establish a neat layout to fix storage places and methods. Eliminate search time and therefore, stresses and strains. Save money by not purchasing the items that are now easily available at home.

S3 – Shine:

Understanding that cleanliness is a form of inspection. Establish a state of cleanliness commensurate with your needs. Involve every individual. Achieve zero grime and zero dirt. Give a definite time of day for cleaning.

S4 – Standardize:

Establish standards for maintaining. Add colour and use innovative visible management so that abnormalities show up for early action. Also make sure that you contribute to environment upkeep.

S5 – Sustain:

Feeling accountable and setting examples to maintain the established procedures of orderliness and neatness. Full participation in developing and practicing good habits.”

Applying these at home and in an organisation will not just improvise your work process, but also make you more efficient. It’s a strong concept that can be followed in various industries from service to manufacturing.

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