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5S method

Work more efficiently with the 5S method

Do your employees spend precious time trying to find documents at their desk or tools in their workspace? Do you experience a crowded working environment which reduces motivation and hinders achievement of objectives? Implementing the 5S method will solve all these issues within your organization.

The approach to a clean, organized and functional environment

Definition of the 5S management technique

The 5S method optimizes your working conditions by making sure that your environment remains tidy, clean and safe. Each "S" in 5S stands for a system of work that is quick and easy to put in place. This Japanese method consists of 5 steps. There could be several meanings, depending on your operation, because 5S method has been designed for workshops, factories, services and offices, or even home!

The 5S of the 5S method

  • 1st S: SEIRI

    SORT - ELIMINATE, Elimination is the first priority in 5S: Start by getting rid of everything that is not absolutely necessary. It’s important to keep what’s important, but it’s just as important to get rid of what isn’t. And what matters above all is knowing what to keep or not.

  • 2nd S : SEITON

    TIDY UP, Tidying up means putting things in specific places so they can be found straight away when needed, thus avoiding wasted time searching.

  • 3rd S : SEISO

    CLEAN, Cleaning offices, work places, and production tools is not just cleaning for the sake of cleanliness. In some cases; such as machines and tools, it's a first step towards preventive maintenance. It's often during cleaning that anomalies and premature wear are detected.

  • 4th S : SEIKETSU

    STANDARDISE, This stage defines rules by which the workplace will remain free of unnecessary objects, tidy, and cleaned. To eliminate the risk of disorder, Takashi Osada advocates Visual Management that relies on a number of aids.

  • 5th S : SHITSUKE

    RESPECT, Newly established rules must be obeyed, and therefore staff must be encouraged to stick to them. It’s a simple case of routinely doing what needs to be done, so that 5S does indeed become a matter of routine.

Method created by the TPS, Toyota Production System

The 5S method has been developed by the Toyota group in the Toyota Production System context. It is a company management tool aiming at:

Inspired by Fordism, the Toyotism proved to be effective and has been studied in depth in order to create the 5S. This remodeled technique has proven its worth through time.

The objectives of the 5S method

Purpose of the 5S management technique

Progress is possible when everybody makes a commitment. This collective commitment starts by taking into account each person’s work environment (machine, line, laboratory, office, store, etc.).

More than just a simple technique for keeping order, 5S is first and foremost a participative management method that gets employees involved in improving the organization of a workplace. This action calls for participation at every level of the hierarchy.

All five parts of 5S are vital when embarking on a continual improvement initiative. They help share the necessary mindset for continual improvement.
The 5S method is based on the observation that a clean and tidy workspace is conducive to good production quality.

5s method

Benefits in terms of direct results

  • Cleanliness and tidiness at the workstations and their surroundings
  • Implementation of visual organization
  • Elimination of wasted time and materials
  • Improved equipment management
  • Decreased risk of work accidents
  • Better working conditions
  • General improvement in the environment
  • Better site image for visitors
  • Improvement of equipment control

Benefits in terms of behavior

  • Communicating and leading a team based on well-defined topics (the five “S”)
  • Establishing standards (rules)
  • Capitalizing knowledge and know-how as assets
  • Respect commitments and collective rules (“saying what you do and doing what you say”)
  • Re-examining habits
  • Coming forth with initiatives and creative solutions
  • Delegating certain activities to internal stakeholders
  • Make acquired results longlasting and ensure ongoing progress
  • Improved workflow

Examples of the usefulness of 5S

    Succeeding in your 5S implementation

    The 5S approach is participative. You must ask production operators to revisit their work in terms of efficiency, based on their experience, everyday constraints, and any ideas for improvement that they might put forward and implement. This roll-out method is especially motivating because it gets participants immersed and involved.

    Implementing 5S is also an opportunity to enrich operators’ jobs by delegating to them the routine servicing of machines and equipment. It may be necessary to provide initial training by maintenance experts, who can work with your operators to develop the appropriate operating procedures. For many operators, this experience is enriching and very positive. It elevates their job to more than fetching, carrying, and twiddling knobs and involves them more on a day-to-day basis.

    5S method training through games

    Fun e-learning games for professionals

    Learning by playing team games is a more effective and sustainable way to learn and create new habits. It enhances everyone’s work experience by providing rich, original and rewarding learning situations.

    Team members who play a 5S training game gain a personal experience that increases their awareness of the need for 5S. They will also understand how to put it into practice and how to apply it to their everyday work.

    Average duration: 2h to 3h
    Participants discover the importance and principles of 5S by reconstructing scenarios with images that represent the five steps of 5S on a board game.

    Number of participants: the ideal number per game is 10 people: operators, technicians, team leaders, heads of workshop, executives, etc…

    Wait no longer to train your employees with our 5S game!

    To go further

    Construction Site Start-up Kit: Fast and efficient construction of various progress sites such as: 5S, HOSHIN, KAIZEN, SMED, LEAN, Dashboard of autonomous teams as part of the PILOTE project as a result of the game.

    Results: collective, shared and effective success.

    You can find the steps: 5S, Kaizen, Six Sigma, LEAN Office, LEAN Manufacturing, TPM, OEE, Machine Day, Visual Management.

    But you can also discover the sites: PDCA, KANBAN, MUDA, HOSHIN, QRQC, Environmental Management, SMED, Safety at work.


    Sesa Systems creations for the creation of a 5S project

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