manufacturing articles business management businesses Marketing sales Technology Business finance Lean Manufacturing small business Investing articles employee health

Phase 4 - Seiketsu of the 5 S methodology: Featured Article

Several large companies have implemented the 5 S Methodology to improve the overall performance and productivity of their businesses. Some notable companies include; Hewlett-Packard Support Center, Boise Cascade and Boeing.

Some of the results these companies achieved are as follows:

  • A reduction in call time and training cycles.

  • - A reduction in stored parts inventory.

  • - Improved productivity, morale, levels of quality, and safety.

  • - A reduction in incident rates.

  • - A reduction in machine downtime.

The 5 S Methodology derives from five Japanese words that begin with the letter `S'. The 5 S Methodology was created to simplify your work environment, reduce waste and improve safety, quality, and efficiency. The five words are: Sort (Seiri), Set in Order (Seiton), Sweep (Seiso), Standardize (Seiketsu), and Sustain (Shitsuke).

Seiri - Seiri is the first phase in the 5 S Methodology and it is translated as the sorting or organizing phase of the program. It focuses on eliminating unnecessary items from the workplace. This is when you sort through all the tools and materials in the work environment and eliminate the unused ones. You will keep only used tools and throw away the other tools.

Seiton - Seiton is the second phase in the 5 S Methodology and it means to straighten or set in order. Set in order focuses on effective storage methods and efficiency. Set in order is often called straighten because it is the process of arranging tools and equipment after a manner that promotes effective work flow. Some strategies for set in order include outlining work areas and locations, painting floors, modular shelving and cabinets, and shadow boards. Think about how having a designated "cleaning closet" will save you time when you are looking for a broom or a mop. By having a designated area for everything, you will eliminate wasted time by your employees as they search for items.

Seiso - Seiso is the third phase in the 5 S Methodology and it is the sweeping phase or the systematic cleaning of your workplace to keep it need and tidy. The clutter and junk should be eliminated by this point and the next process is to thoroughly clean the work environment. The workplace needs to be kept clean and neat in order to be efficient. Daily follow-up cleaning will be necessary in order to maintain the improvement levels you have set in place. Daily cleaning will be a part of the work required, not just an occasional activity when the work environment is too messy.

Helpful Resources:

1. The five Ss: Number 4: Seiketsu
This article gives you an in depth look at what the number four part of the 5 S program is. The article also provides you with examples on how this process is used and provides you with tips that you can follow when using it.

2. 5S - Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke - Page 1 of 2
This is a two page article that gives you a detailed description on what this program is and how it works in various workplaces. But the article also gives you a break down on what the program consists of and how those parts work.

3. 5S Seiketsu
This article gives you a brief description of what this part of the 5 S program is and in terms that anybody could understand. But the article also gives you ideas on how to apply this part of the program and what it means when you apply it.

4. My 5S Corner: Seiketsu is Maintaining
This blog is all about the fourth step of the 5 S program. In addition to telling you what this step is and how it works the blog also provides you with numerous examples in various situations on how this can be applied.

5. 5S Lean Manufacturing
This article gives you a very lose definition of what the fourth step in the 5 S program is, but the article also provides you with the main purpose of this step and it provides you with things that you can do to help implement this in your workplace.

6. NWLEAN: Lean FAQ's
This website provides you with answers to numerous questions that are commonly asked in regards to lean manufacturing, including what the Japanese terms are for the lean principles.

7. 5s Training
This article gives you plenty of information on what the 5s program is in general, but it also goes into plenty of detail about the pillars of the 5 S program and how they work. The article also talks about how you can go about implementing this program.

8. Principle of 5 S
This article goes on to give you information about what the 5S is and how it helps your company to improve their program, whether it is manufacturing or not. The article also gives you information on the main steps that are involved in this program.

9. The 5 Ss of Japanese efficiency
This article gives you information on the Japanese program of the 5Ss and how it is used in Japan, but the article also goes on to describe how it is being used in the US and what each part translates into in English.

10. 5S housekeeping Practices
This website allows you to sign up for their services so you can get more information on the 5S process and how to implement it. But they also provide you with free information on the 5S process and include a chart on how it goes from the top down when getting implemented.

Seiketsu - Seiketsu is the fourth phase in the 5 S Methodology and it means standardizing. This phase concentrates on making employees practice the best standardized rules for their area. The employees can be involved in the development of these standardized rules because they are valuable for the information they deal with on a day to day basis.In the end, everyone should know exactly what their job responsibilities are and they should know exactly how to perform them.

Shitsuke - Shitsuke is the final phase in the 5 S Methodology and it means sustaining. Implementing change is hard for many individuals to accept. More often than not, change will occur for a small time period and people will revert back to their old ways, where they feel comfortable. You must put steps in place to avoid a gradual decline of the new rules to adjust back to the old way of operating. If an issue does arise, such as a suggested improvement or a new way of operating, then a review of the first four phases is appropriate. Just remember that you need to define the new operating system and set standards so that the workplace stays organized and avoids reverting to old behaviors.

After you have successfully implemented the first 3 phases, you will begin the fourth phase, Seiketsu which means standardization. Seiketsu blends the first 3 phases together to ensure all the techniques and methods are clearly defined and easily understood by everyone. In business processes employees have a tendency to personalize the things they use. This means things are changed to fit individual needs and it shuts out the team atmosphere a business should have.

In the workplace, the methods, tools and processes need to be shared with everyone, not just individuals. For everyone at the company to understand a standardized system, they need to be properly trained and tested on a regular basis to ensure they truly understand.

A large emphasis of Seiketsu focuses on visual management. Visual management is a method of continuous improvement. Visual management is used by implementing a visual sense to improve safety, production, quality, and customer service. Anything that you can see is considered visual management. Things seen at a location, distance, shape, brightness, color, or contrast can all be used in visual management so they stand out.

When you implement visual management, the colors should employ high contrast. This is why yellow and blue are often seen together because blue lettering on a yellow background makes it stand out. Red should always be used to indicate danger and warn employees of a potential hazard.

As you begin implementing visual management you should paint the signs on neatly. If possible, use masking tape and stencils to guide the brush. It is important to use the proper label for proper visual management. You can also use visual management to indicate different people within the business process. For example, colored hard hats can indicate a job function or position. This will allow you to view where everyone is working from a distance and it will make it easy to identify if someone is doing a job that they aren't qualified to do.

Visual controls also include instructions, hazard warnings, organization systems, equipment and tool destinations, caution signs, reminder notices, and other things that are needed to inform your employees about processes. If you run an office, then you can also use visual controls on binders, tags, document holders, papers, computers, post-it notes, and other things. By implementing a color control system, you are creating a standardized method of business process improvement.

The first step in standardization is knowing where to look. Visual controls make it easy to quickly identify where things are kept. Signs on the actual items need to be clear and visible from a distance so someone can find them if they are looking from a far distance. If you are running a large office or manufacturing plant, use hanging signs, large lettering, and other color coding systems.

The second step is being able to properly identify the specific item you are looking for. Have proper places and proper labels for each item so your employees know exactly where to look for it and where to put it back.

Like the other phases of the 5 S Methodology, Seiso ties into Seiketsu. If you have a dirty sign, you could have problems in the workplace. For example, if the warning sign is missing from a heavy piece of machinery and an employee walks under the machine as it is in operation, they could be seriously injured. Be sure that during the Seiso phase you look at your visual controls and make sure chipped, worn, and dirty signs are properly repaired.

Standardization will quickly identify any abnormalities or unusual situations. If you have your tools placed on a painted tool board, it will be easily identifiable when one is missing. Colored labels are a great way to point out if processes have been followed through, such as proper cleaning procedures that need to be checked off.

With the standardization phase, you will have numerous opportunities to be creative. Walk around your office, warehouse, or other work areas and decide how you can properly position visual indicators to help everyone at the company. Transparencies are another important factor in Seiketsu. Far too often people follow the "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy and caused those "collection areas" to quickly pile up with junk or essential items that were considered lost. If it is possible, make the covers of your cabinets transparent. It will be easy to spot an unorganized cabinet if it has glass windows.

Another additional step in standardization is a trouble map. When problems arise, you can point them out on a map. You have probably seen a trouble map before. It is simply a map of your office with red pins in it to indicate a problem. A trouble map should also show emergency exits, fire-extinguishers, and other important locations. The trouble map should be placed in a visible location so your employees can be adequately informed.

Seiketsu requires responsibility on everyone's part. Some people may have more responsibility that others to ensure Seiketsu is properly implemented and being followed. Standardization requires routine check-ups or else it simply becomes another guideline. Proper follow-thru with Seiketsu is important to the overall 5 S Methodology. Standardization will help you find all the documents, tools, and general supplies without wasting time searching for them. It is a balance that will make the complete business process easier for everyone as it is a standard and not just another guideline that they can choose to follow.

FREE: Get More Leads!
How To Get More LeadsSubscribe to our free newsletter and get our "How To Get More Leads" course free via email. Just enter your first name and email address below to subscribe.
First Name *
Email *

Get More Business Info
Sponsored Links
Recent Articles


Copyright 2003-2020 by - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy, Terms of Use