5S is the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. Transliterated into English, they all start with the letter “S”. The list describes how to organize a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order.
The 5 Steps are as follows:
- Sort: Sort out & separate that which is needed & not needed in the area.
- Straighten: Arrange items that are needed so that they are ready & easy to use. Clearly identify locations for all items so that anyone can find them & return them once the task is completed.
- Shine: Clean the workplace & equipment on a regular basis in order to maintain standards & identify defects.
- Standardise: Revisit the first three of the 5S on a frequent basis and confirm the condition of the Gemba using standard procedures.
- Sustain: Keep to the rules to maintain the standard & continue to improve every day.
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