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5S Method – Organise

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What is 5S

5S is an organisation method with a clear goal: to create a clean and efficient working environment.

When properly implemented, the 5S Method helps identify how a workspace should be organised to improve efficiency and effectiveness by identifying what is needed at each step of a process and ensuring it is immediately available.

  • Sort: Separating of the essential from the nonessential items – is each item of use?
  • Straighten: Organising the essential materials – is every useful items where it should be?
  • Shine: Cleaning the work area – is everything clean and stored properly?
  • Standardise: Establishing a system – does everyone know the 5S Method in your workplace?
  • Sustain: Establishing a safe and sanitary work environment – are team members reminded about 5S on a regular basis in an engaging way?

Why implement

There are many benefits to implementing the 5S Methods into your work area or office. The 5S steps are particularly useful when your overall goal is to reduce many forms of waste in any process or workstation:

  • Optimised organisation – By sorting and straightening the workplace, team members will spend less time looking for items, determining how to use them and returning them to the correct station. If all employees have heightened awareness of the 5S system, each individual will be working in a way that makes achieving workplace goals easier.
  • Efficiency – The 5S system compells organisations to improve efforts aimed to eliminate waste through improving products and services, and thus lowering costs.
  • Larger storage capacity – Standard 5S implementation results in the reduction of unnecessary items from production facilities, freeing up space that can be used more effectively.
  • Heightened safety – A focus on cleaning well-used areas and standardising practices ensures heavily trafficked areas are safer and general worker understanding of consequences of their actions are understood.
  • Morale is increased – Making it routine to implement proper procedures and discipline to avoid backsliding is one of the main objectives of the system. This practice improves the chances of avoiding dark, dirty, disorganized workplaces, which can foster lower morale among employees.

By encouraging your team to respect their workspace and watch for problems, positive change affects the performance of your people and your organisation’s culture. When implemented as part of a larger Lean initiative, the 5S Principles method can reduce waste, improve quality, promote safety and drive continuous improvement.