5S is a business methodology that describes how to organise a work space for efficiency and effectiveness. It originates from 5 Japanese words all beginning with the letter ‘S’ – seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. Although there are many variatons for the English translation, the most common used in consultancy and business training today are:
- Sort (seiri) – Refers to to the removal of unnecessary items and disposing of them properly.
- Straighten (seiton) – Refers to arranging all necessary items so they can be easily selected for use.
- Shine (seiso) – Refers to maintaining a clean working space to make it safe and prevent machines and equipment from deteriorating.
- Standardise (seiketsu) – Refers to standardising the best practices in the work area.
- Sustain (shitsuke) – Refers to training and discipline to keep everything in working order.
By implementing the 5S system, an organisation will discover increased efficiency, greater workplace safety, effective cost control measures and an improvement in overall customer and employee satisfaction.
Is 5S Suitable for My Business?
YES. All businesses will benefit from implementing the 5S methodology. Although it originated in the manufacturing field, this program can be applied across all industries including retail stores, hospitals, schools, media organisations, government and more.
Remember, for 5S to be effective, it has to be more than just a business methodology. It needs to be a culture that is embedded in to the organisation.
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