Five S is the silent informer of a company’s attitude to quality, workplace management and people management. The easiest way to determine a company’s attitude towards improvement activities is simply to walk around the factory and offices and observe the house – keeping practice. It often tells us more about the company than any financial statement. One can judge the level of improvement activities from the way tools are stored, swath and chips from machines handled, work table organized, inspection points indicated, factory floor swept, machines cleaned, canteen and toilet condition etc. The practices reflect the management’s general attitude towards work and employees. We should understand the linkage between the level of Five S and the amount of defective products produced, the number of machine breakdown, inventory level and so on. Therefore Five S should be among the first steps management should take for improving the company’s quality status. Five S are an important aspect of team – work. If we don’t do Five S, we cannot do any other work efficiently. Five S starts with each individual practicing it. When we go to work we notice many things, which are not in order, but we overlook them and turn a blind eye to them. Unfortunately we do not realize that many of our problems will disappear if we pay attention to Five S. We should not think that Five S actions are for others to implement. Our action speaks louder than words.
1S: SEIRI Organisation or re-organisation is to sort out unnecessary items in the work place and apply stratification management to discard them e.g. Things not belonging to that area to be removed from there. If repairing is required, separate them and get them repaired. If it has to be discarded, decide first whether it has some scrap value, then sell them at the right time. If the item is all right but not useful to you, and you can’t sell them, but can be utilized by someone else, who needs it send it to them . Items which need to be discarded, must be discarded in such a way that what is discarded will not harm society, environment and even animals.
2S: SEITON Neatness: Put the things in a proper neat way. Everything should have a place and everything should be in its place. Decide the place, mark the place, put label on items. Arrange the items in such a way so that they can be picked up easily for use. During storage, keep in mind the height, weight, size, shape, safety etc. of the item. Functional storage of items will help in our day to-day use and functioning.
3S: SEISO Cleaning: Here cleaning is in the form of cleaning inspection. When we are doing cleaning, we are also inspecting simultaneously, if some thing is unnecessary we are discarding those things under 1S and if during cleaning we have seen that any item is not kept in its proper place and we put them in its place, then we are doing under 2S. Hence whenever we are doing ‘3S’, it means that we are doing ‘1-S’ and ‘2-S’ simultaneously. In addition, we also check for the health of the machine, the lubrication, electrical connections etc. Clean your work place completely so that there should not be any dust on the floor, walls, windows, desk, table, machinery etc. Cleaning should be done at Macro level first and then individual item wise and finally at micro level.
4S: SEIKETSU Standardisation: When we are doing 1-S, 2-S and 3-S, we may be facing number of problems. In ‘1-S’ it is very easy to discard items, but think why this has become unnecessary, in ‘2-S’ if things are not in proper place we simply put them back in their proper place. Here, we have to think why this has happened. In 3-S, area is dirty we clean it. Here, again we have to think as to why this had become dirty. What is the system of cleaning, can we change the equipment/way of cleaning, can we arrest the source by which the area has become dirty. All these thinking will give some solution through Brain Storming. Try to find out good solutions and standardise them as a part of the system.
5S: SHITSUKE Discipline: This means whatever system we are having or developed under ‘4-S’ they have to be followed in such a way that, standard practices become a part of our lives. This will help to maintain high levels of work place organization at all the time.
To develop the competitiveness, steering committee should start evaluating the ‘5-S’ implementation status on the basis of evaluation criteria to be decided by the committee. This evaluation should be done atleast 6 times in a year. Marks obtained are displayed in their area. – Those zones getting 70% or more marks, may be given one ‘5-S’ shield. This should be displayed along with Marks in the concerned area. This should be withdrawn, if the area is not able to maintain minimum 70% marks. – Develop motivational ways. – Conduct slogan, poster, poem, drama etc. related to ‘5-S’. – Propagate this concept in colonies, market, school etc., in and around the factory. – Telecast the well kept areas, home, shops etc. through cable TV for propagation of ‘5-S’. – Visit such organisation where ‘5-S’ is implemented effectively and benchmark.