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How The 5S Method Improves Your Bottom Line

In order to address how the 5S method improves your bottom line, it is important to understand what the 5S method is.In essence, the 5S method is a Japanese inspired improvement of efficiency in the work place.While there is an alliterative translation of the 5S method into English, some do not feel that it gives the same meaning as the Japanese words:seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke.

Seiri is the idea of tidiness in the way that there should be nothing in the work area that does not belong there.The tools should only be the tools that are used to do the job.Anything extraneous to the work should be removed.This eliminates the waste of time associated with sifting through items until the right one can be found.

Seiton is orderliness.Once everything that is not used has been cleared away, everything that remains should have a place and it should be there except when it is being used.This makes it easier to find things when they are needed.It reduces time wasted looking for the right item because the right item is always in the right place.

Seiso is cleanliness.Even in the work place cleanliness is next to Godliness and while some may argue that God is not very efficient, He is all powerful.By keeping the workplace clean, the time that would be used to deal with the accumulated mess can be saved.It is often more difficult to clean up a mess that has set than it is to clean up a freshly made mess.This also means less work for the janitorial staff.

Seiketsu refers to standards.These are the standards that everyone is held to in order to make the workplace clean and orderly.Every employee will know his or her responsibilities, and he or she will do his or her best to fulfill those responsibilities.Everyone also has basic housekeeping duties to ensure a clean, orderly workplace.

Shitsuke refers to sustaining discipline.It is easy to think that one can leave the mess until tomorrow to clean it up and when tomorrow comes leave it again for the next day until the problem is out of hand and the person involved is severely demotivated by the size of the task.It is the same feeling that three year olds have after they have been told to clean up a mess that they have made and is too big for them to handle.Enduring to the end to make sure that the work station is clean and ready for the next day.This allows the employee to start each day fresh and work during the best hours that any employee has - those hours that happen earliest in the work shift.As the day progresses, people tend to wear out and work efficiency goes down.

As explained with every word, there are some specific advantages to the 5S system, but there are a few advantages that accumulate with the set of five including employee motivation and job satisfaction.
Employee motivation can be increased when the employee comes into a clean workplace with everything in its place.When the employee has done the cleanup him or herself, the employee will know that nothing has been moved and that everything is where he or she left it.
The improvement in job satisfaction comes from getting one thing accomplished every day.In many desk jobs, it is hard to feel like anything has been accomplished, especially when the work is repetitive and when it is done as part of a team.Cleanup results can be seen every day.

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