The 5S method makes it possible to create a functional and productive work environment to improve the working conditions and safety of employees and the profitability of a company. It is part of a continuous improvement process that can be extended by the adoption of an easy-to-use CMMS solution.
What is the 5s method?
The 5S method is an organizing system that aims to rid the work environment of all clutter and keep it clean and orderly to promote quality and just in time.
The 5s method is composed of 5 steps. Each of them is named after a Japanese word beginning with the letter S, hence the term “5s”.
What are the 5S?
The 5s are: Seiri (整理), Seiton (整頓), Seiso (清掃), Seiketsu (清潔), Shitsuke (躾).
The first S, Seiri, means to eliminate and implies to get rid of everything that is useless. It is therefore necessary to sort out what to keep, for its real use, and what to throw away, as superfluous in practice.
The second S, Seiton, means to put away and encourages to position each object used in the work in a precise and identified place in order to be able to find it easily and quickly when one needs it. In addition, it is recommended to choose a placement according to the frequency of use of each object.
The third S, Seiso, means clean. It recommends not only keeping work areas clean, but also taking care of the maintenance of tools and machines. This is the first step towards self-maintenance, as cleaning is often an opportunity to detect premature wear and tear or anomalies.
The fourth S, Seiketsu, means to standardize. It encourages the establishment of common rules to keep the workplace clean and free of unnecessary objects.
The fifth and final 2, Shitsuke, means respect. It means to respect the rules established in the 5S method and to encourage all the staff to adhere to them. The final objective is that this method becomes a habit.
To do this, it is useful to carry out regular 5S audits to ensure that the rules are being followed and that the method is bearing fruit.
What are the advantages of the 5S method?
The 5S method has many advantages:
- it improves productivity;
- It improves the safety of employees and reduces the frequency of work accidents;
- It increases the quality of products;
- it reduces material loss and therefore costs;
- It improves the working environment and limits travel;
- It allows for a continuous improvement process and promotes the confidence of all stakeholders.
How to extend the 5S approach?
More than a simple organizational technique, the 5S approach is a participative management method that allows staff to take responsibility for the continuous improvement of working and production conditions. The 5S method is a prerequisite because it allows to set up the logic of a continuous improvement approach but it is not the result.
To go further in this approach, different tools are available to companies. For example, in terms of maintenance, the adoption of a CMMS that is intuitive and therefore easy to use by all personnel encourages their participation in the implementation of preventive maintenance, which limits the number and duration of production stoppages.