5S is a foundation lean tool for improving workplace organisation for office, warehouse, workshop and site environments.
The 5S tool provides a structured method for improving layout, implementing lean, eliminating wasted activity and improving safety. The 5S score can be used as a measureable for workplace organisation.
How it works
The 5S’s stand for:
SORT – only have to hand what you need for the operation ‘drumbeat’. Clear out other items.
STRAIGHTEN or SET – a place for everything and everything in it’s place. Reduce wasted motion by good workflow and layout. Make it obvious when things are in the wrong place
SHINE – make everything serviceable. It does involve cleaning the area but the emphasis is to be able to identify non-standard conditions. Opportunity to repair and equipment that doesn’t work properly.
STANDARDISE – develop ways to maintain a 5S standard. Decide who’s responsible, what goes where, how often to clean and organise the area and what to do if things are not as expected.
SUSTAIN – involve leadership to keep the 5S process going. Use audits and checklists. Track and display the results. Recognise good results.
It starts with an audit of a defined area and an initial assessment and a score out of 125 which rates how well the area supports the operation being conducted without incurring too much ‘7 Wastes’ based on 5 questions per ‘S’.
An initial acceptable target for good SORT, STRAIGHTEN and SHINE housekeeping is 75-80 prior to much STANDARDISING or SUSTAINING taking place. Typical initial audit scores of 30 – 50 indicate that the area is inadequately organised and would benefit from a full 5S application. Scores 50-75 indicate that the area would improve with further 5S maintenance. A score <30 could indicate that the area is unsafe.
An audit form example for an Office 5S is shown below. There are customised forms for production, site and warehouse areas.