Let’s look now at a tie-in of Kaizen 5S. Kaizen provides the philosophical framework of continuous improvement. But what is 5S?
What is 5S and how does it relate to Kaizen?
While Kaizen is a general approach to improvement, 5S is a way to lay the groundwork for improvement. The two go hand in hand with 5S being part of the Kaizen system and lean manufacturing. Let’s be more clear now on definitions.
• Kaizen – a system of continuous improvement where effective process and flow are part of the system
• Lean manufacturing – a method for eliminating waste in a manufacturing system – also called lean production or lean
• 5S – the part of the Kaizen system that establishes a workplace that can be ideal for continuous improvement and lean manufacturing
Now that we have these terms more firmly in mind let’s take a deeper dive on 5S.
A closer look at 5S
In looking at 5S let’s first note that the S comes from the Japanese words that start with this sound. Each of the words represents an idea to help improve the workplace. These improvements are part of how you set up an effective work environment including an efficient visual workplace. Let’s just say for now that 5S has a focus on organization, visual order, cleanliness, and standardization.
Why should we care about 5S? In a quality organization – where we define quality as meeting customer expectations, taking this definition from the International Standards Organization (ISO) – 5S can play a key role. You can determine what approach an organization takes if you look at the 5S component of the organization.
• By these, we mean how an organization looks at standards of visual management and work in general.
• People become engaged in their work through discipline and standards when 5S becomes part of the organization.
5S goes beyond just the important detail of cleanliness and housekeeping. 5S has a focus on maintaining general disciple and standards. An organization shows respect for the workplace when 5S is in place.
Read More About Understanding the 5S’s of Kaizen
In terms of the big picture the 5S components include that you:
• Sort out what you need and remove clutter
• Straighten so you can find what you need when you need it
• Shine so your equipment and work area are clean and maintained
• Standardize so that sorting, straightening, and shining are routine
• Sustain so you can improve continuously and daily
More about the Kaizen tie in
When you have a Kaizen 5S workplace you reflect an organization that values and implements continuous improvement. You can get great business results with this kind of Kaizen 5S approach. You have an environment that:
• Is safe
• Is efficient
• Includes equipment that is available and in good repair
• Includes a process with audit documentation
5S can become an important means of business and a driver for an effective Kaizen continuous improvement environment. Employees in a 5S environment feel responsibility, ownership, and involvement. You also get a reduction in waste and improved quality and productivity. Morale is high and profitability increases. That is the idea behind the principles.
Another part of 5S
When you have a 5S Kaizen environment you organize the work space efficiently, store items effectively, maintain the work area well, and sustain the system and standardize it. In addition, you add another element which is safety.
You now establish an environment for optimal continuous improvement. You can have an environment of trust and safety where you respect everyone and their ideas for improvement. You can now effectively determine causes for problems and how to fix them.
This is the tie-in of Kaizen to 5S along with the tie in to lean manufacturing with no scrap or waste.
We just looked at the relationship between 5S and Kaizen and how 5S can lay the foundation to implement Kaizen. We also looked at lean and the tie-in of reducing and eliminating waste as they relate to Kaizen and 5S. These concepts all work together to great a more effective organization and improved business results.