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Understanding the 5 S system

manatdesk19160745.jpgA number of manufacturing companies use the 5 S system as it is a great way to organize the business, increase efficiency, reduce waste, and provide your customers with better products and services. What is the 5 S system and how can it help your company? This article will help you learn more about the 5 S system along with several things you can do to improve your business.

The 5 S system is one of the easiest things to implement out of the different lean manufacturing principles and methods. While manufacturing companies see the value in the 5 S system, many other companies and organizations have found that the 5 S system has great value as well.

What does the 5 S system stand for?
1. Sort
2. Set In Place
3. Shine
4. Standardize
5. Sustain

Each part of the 5 S system will serve a different principle and will help to improve the business and your products.Since each business is different and the various industries have different regulations, you can change the various "S" steps to suit the needs of your particular business.

So how do you get started with the implementation of the 5 S system? Follow these easy steps and you will be on your way to producing better products and services and also providing happier work environments for your employees.

Starting with the first S, sort. This is basically a clean-up of your entire organization. With sort you are going to go through all the unnecessary items and things that are causing the workplace to be unproductive. You want to get rid of the clutter and things that cause you to have a hard time doing your job. The design of the workplace may be at fault so you should consider redoing the way you have your employees sitting and working. Sort also involves getting the employees to tag the various items they use and to only keep the ones they absolutely use every second of every day when they are working. All the other items that they sparingly use will be set aside and organized into other locations.

Set In Place

The next phase is an organization phase. During this phase you are going to get all of the items you need and place them into the right areas to be used. Some people like to use shadow boards for set in place as it does allow you to have the items perfectly laid out so you can see what you need.The goal of set in place is to achieve maximum efficiency for your company with the lowest possible movement by the employees.This means all the tools that you use at the end of the manufacturing process need to stay at the end of the process, not scattered throughout the process.

Shine is the method that helps you to clean up your machinery or area. You want to have everything look brand new again and your goal is to try and keep it in that type of shape if it is possible. Since it is common to let shine slip, you need to focus on implementing shine daily and weekly to keep your equipment in the best shape.

You need to standardize the entire system once you have established it in order to make sure the company will run correctly. Standardize also means you will clean up the company and prevent things from deteriorating over time.

The final phase is sustain. This is the hardest phase but it can be easy if you are focusing on the other 4 phases. As long as you are keeping things clean and you have implemented the right standardize procedures you will be able to sustain the new system.

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