Conditions necessary for a successful 5S program include development of new awareness
and skills for all employees. This will insure all employees take ownership of the
new process and have the basic skills to do so. Support from management is crucial
as time must be allocated to do the necessary steps on a regular basis. Ongoing
communication to all employees will help maintain the system by keeping everyone
informed on what is happening and is a good way to share new ideas between teams
and departments. The entire company has to adopt 5S as part of its daily work culture.
When a company first introduces 5S to its organization a target area should be chosen
as a demonstration or pilot project. The target area to organize with 5S must be
clearly identified and the activities and or operations that currently occur in
that area should be defined.
The team performing the 5S's must include area workers so that the needs of the
targeted area are understood and workers from other departments to provide a fresh
pair of eyes to see things that have become acceptable to area employees. The area
department manager should be on the team to provide quick on-the-spot decisions.
The team should have an impartial facilitator who is responsible to make sure the
5S steps are being followed correctly.
Managers can help a 5S program succeed by making 5S part of the company culture.
They can also incorporate 5S into their standardized work procedures/instructions.
Support from employees can be enhanced by rewarding and recognizing good 5S practices.
When resources are needed, managers should do all they can to provide the necessary
assistance. Managers should show interest in the program by frequently asking questions
and making it apart of their plans and goals. The managers can make frequent visits
to the area and allow or make time for 5S activities.
The keys to successful 5S program begin with gathering your baseline information
at the targeted sight not in a conference room. Be sure everyone is involved. Get
a commitment from the highest level on site. Let department managers set direction.
Ensure the department managers' involvement. Establish a daily routine. Most importantly
keep it simple.
The benefits of a good 5S program for a company and its employees are the elimination
of waste. Five percent of lead time for a product in a company not using lean tools
is value added while 95% is non-value added (a combination of the eight wastes).
5S will help eliminate time wasted trying to work around items that are not necessary
to have in the immediate area (sort) or looking for tools, parts, fixtures, etc.
(set in order).
Clean work areas are more pleasant to work in while clean machines and equipment
make broken, damaged, and unsafe conditions easier to identify (shine). Having everyone
on all shifts work and maintain the area to the same standards improves morale,
increases quality and productivity, and promotes teamwork (standardize). Finally,
encouraging a culture that will continue to operate a fine-tuned 5S system will
help continuously improve the operation (sustain). This will improve safety, efficiency,
and productivity and provide a quality product to the customers. Management of a
5S environment is better and more effective. The organization using 5S will see
reduced wastes and reduced costs.
The Technical Assistance Program's MEP Center Manufacturing Specialists can train
and mentor your staff and assist in implementation of the 5S methods.