5s the philosophy that offers a method for pursuing continuous improvement

The 5S method is a systematic, replicable, and perpetual approach used to optimize work procedures to achieve continuous improvement and achieve high levels of performance. 

The 5s method is a philosophy that consists in eliminating all activities that are not relevant to the activity being carried out.

What does 5s mean?

5s is made up of the number that represents the steps that make up the process, and the S represents the names of the individual steps of the method taken from the Japanese language, i.e. the 5s are:

  1. S eiri which means to separate: This step of the 5s method indicates the need to separate what is useless or superfluous from what is strictly functional to the activity carried out.
  2. S edition which means to reorder: In this step of the 5s methodology, everything that is functional and useful for the working activity must be sorted.
  3. S so that means to clean: This step of the 5s process indicates the need to keep the working environment in order so that the criticalities, the inefficiencies are not hidden by the disorder.
  4. S tickets which mean to systematize or standardize: Here the 5s method defines the need to create systematic, repetitive procedures and methodologies, in order to rationalize resources and workspaces.
  5. S Shinsuke whose meaning is to spread or support: In the fifth phase of the 5s method, make sure this way of thinking and acting is capable of spreading in all business processes.

The purpose of the 5s philosophy is similar to that of Kaizen, which is to pursue continuous improvement by ensuring that daily criticalities are discovered in the company organization at every level, in every process, in any procedure or activity carried out by individual components of the resources human.

Example method 5s

To complete the first two phases of the 5s method, all the work tools or any element that may be considered superfluous to the main activity being carried out can be labeled.

There are companies in Japan that use this method by labeling the equipment with red tags, and in the case of using such equipment, the employee must give a valid reason why he used these tools for the job and demonstrate that there was no alternative.

After a predetermined time, if these working tools have not been proven useful during the process, they are completely eliminated by cleaning (the third S).

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