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Business Process Transformation can be enabled by many methodologies and tools. One of these is 5S. A Five S program is usually a part of, and the key component of establishing a Visual Workplace. and are both a part of Kaizen -- a system of continual improvement -- which is a component of lean manufacturing. 5S provides a methodology for organising a productive work environment. This is a lean manufacturing tool enabling operators to improve their efficiency through organising their work place.

The Five S program focuses on having visual order, organization, cleanliness and standardization. The results you can expect from a Five S program are: improved profitability, efficiency, service and safety. The principles underlying a Five S program at first appear to be simple, obvious common sense. And they are. But until the advent of Five S programs many businesses ignored these basic principles.

What types of businesses benefit from a Five S program?
Everyone and all types of business benefit from having a Five S program. Manufacturing and industrial plants come to mind first, as those are the business that can realize the greatest benefits. However, any type of business, from a retail store to a power plant -- from hospitals to television stations -- all types of businesses, and all areas within a business, will realize benefits from implementing a Five S program.
Five S is driven by 5 Pillars of improvement

The Five S pillars:
Sort (Seiri) - the first step in making things cleaned up and organized Set in Order (Seiton) - organize, identify and arrange everything in a work area Shine (Seiso) - regular cleaning and maintenance 5 S AUDIT    Page 1 

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Standardize (Seiketsu) - make it easy to maintain - simplify and standardize Sustain (Shitsuke) -maintaining what has been accomplished 

One of the first stages is to carry out a 5S Audit. This involves the use of ReD tags to identify unused objects that are cluttering the work place.

What is 5S
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5s is one of the first tools you will use in your Lean Manufacturing program. 5S is a tool and system that helps improve the environment and efficiency of the shop floor. The same ideas can be applied to the office environment Five S Sort

The first stage is removing the rubbish and clutter, it also involves cleaning and generally making the area tidy. By getting rid of unused items space can be made and items that are used on a regular basis can be found quicker. Five S Straighten

Once you have cleaned the area out you need to ensure that the items left are kept in the right place. Tools should be located where they are needed and the utilisation of shadow boards to store them in set locations. Five S Shine

Now you have got rid of the rubbish and organised your tools, you need to maintain your new found order. The area is their work environment and they should keep it clean and tidy. This is an educational program. To provide the education a detailed and comprehensive 5S training program is needed Five S Standardise

Once you have made the effort to tidy, organise and clean the work area you need to ensure your efforts and new found disciplines are not let to slip. Implementing random and strict 5S audits should be used to maintain the standards. Five S Sustain / Ongoing improvement

You have put into place the culture and systems to sustain 5S but you also need to look at continual improvements. You must introduce the whole culture change, standards must be accepted through training and education and every one work to continued improvements as part of Lean Manufacturing. An important part of any Five S program is to provide the complete operational staff with the required5S training. This should cover the benefits to all members of the staff and how it improves their day to day work environment.

Lean Manufacturing
The principles of Lean manufacturingand thinking, provide a method to specify and add "Value" while combating "waste", referred to as " Muda " (The Japanese word). Waste is the result of the over use of any resource required to produce a product or deliver a service. Waste is also identified as idle time where no value is being added to a product or service. 5 S AUDIT    Page 3 

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What will it cost me? 

The shipyard industry is spending nearly a million dollars to develop a Five S program the industry can use, and to implement that program at two shipyards. On the other hand you can implement a Five S program without adding an extra dollar to your budget. Realistically you probably will need to spend some extra money to get your Five S program going. There will be training time; man-hours spent to get your facility cleaned up and organized; equipment purchases, such as buying a quality labeling system; and time spent on sustaining your Five S program once it is in place. Your actual costs will depend on where you are now - for example what is the condition of your facility? The further you are from meeting the goals of a Five S program, the more it will cost to implement one and the greater the benefits you'll see as a result of your Five S program.

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