I don’t really know if this fit into this blog but I post it nevertheless because I think it’s a quite interesting approach to get a chleaner and saver working environment.

The 5s approach is a method which helps to organize the workplace in order to increase efficiency and eliminate waste. One of the main ideas 5S follows is the reduction of non value added activities (NVA) which are related to the 7 types of waste (Figure 7) mentioned before. [1] To achieve this aim a few steps have to be accomplished.

  • Seiri (sort): The contents of the workplace should be sorted and unnecessary item removed. Through this action gets the workplace clearer.
  • Seiton (straighten): The item necessary for the process should be placed or arranged in a way that an easy access and a clear identification are guaranteed.
  • Seiso (shine): All items and the workplace were cleaned. During that step gets the whole equipment and workplace inspected for defects.
  • Seiketsu (standardize): The creation of visual controls and guidelines ensure that the workplace is clean and organized.
  • Shitsuke (sustain): Training and discipline to assure the compliance with 5S.[2]

The benefits for a company which could be generated through the implementation of 5S are various.

  • The cleanliness of the workplace enhances the safety.
  • It improves the thinking and feeling about the products, the process and the company.
  • A proper showcase for eventual customers will be generated.
  • Increases the efficiency of each working step.[3]
  • The new created space could be used for future expansions

[1] T. T. Allen (2010), Introduction to Engineering Statistics and Lean Sigma: Statistical Quality Control and Design of Experiments and Systems, p. 125.

[2] M. Harry, P. S. Mann, O. C. De Hodgins (2009), The Practitioner’s Guide to Statistics and Lean Six Sigma for Process Improvements, p. 73.

[3] D. H. Stamatis (2002), Six Sigma and Beyond: The implementation process, p. 274.


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