What is 5S
5S is the method within Lean Manufacturing whereby you organise your workplace to ensure that it is as ergonomic, efficient and safe for your employees as it possible to be. This is as applicable within your office environment as it is within your production processes. Developed within companies such as Toyota in Japan, 5S is an integral part of Lean manufacturing and focuses on removing the seven wastes from your workplace. The benefits of 5S are significant and just too great to dismiss, this is a well proven and easy to implement tool.
5S Seiri or Sort
The first stage of any 5S implementation is that of Seiri or sort, sorting those items that are required in an area from those that are not required.
5S Seiri requires the 5S team to go through the area and remove all items that are not required for the normal functioning of that area. All waste and junk should be removed and thrown away (don’t forget to segregate waste as you would normally, many companies sell their scrap). All items that you are not sure about should be removed to a quarantine area for decisions to be made regarding their disposition. Items that are unwanted or not functioning but are too big to remove should have a “red tag” fixed to them to identify them.
At the end of this part of 5S seiri the only items that should remain are those items that are required for the functioning of that process and no more.
5S Auction and Red Tag
The team and anyone else who has a stake in that area should then go through the “red tag” items and those within the quarantine area to decide what to do with each item. Either junk, return to the area, put in a different area, repair etc..
The “red tag” items can then be handed to maintenance to deal with.
5S Stage 2 Seiton
You should now have an area that is free of unnecessary clutter and will now be ready to move onto the second stage of 5S Seiton.