The purpose of this process is to improve productivity, improve quality and improve safety. It is used to improve performance of a process. It is not used as a reason to clean up. It is used to improve a process once process design has been completed. Everyone should understand what they are trying to accomplish and why.
5 S is a simple five-step process:
- Sort: Go through, set aside what you want to keep, get rid of the rest. If you are not sure, put those items in a 30-day pile. If, after 30 days you didn’t need it, throw it away.
- Straighten: Organize what’s left in a logical sequence that supports the work being done and eliminates muda such as unnecessary movement, scrambling for supplies, etc. You should do this in conjunction with your spaghetti diagram to optimize your layout.
- Shine: Clean up the area. Inspect faulty or broken equipment and tools and either fix or dispose of them.
- Standardize: Standardize your layout and process. Label shelves so everyone knows where everything is kept. Document.
- Sustain: Make it the way you do business.
In subsequent posts, we’ll look at each step,in greater detail.