5s Methodology System; Efficient Thinking

News | 24 February 2016

Whether you work in an office, factory, garage or laboratory, organising your work environment to ensure efficiency and effectiveness is key in the deliverance of your service offering to end users. 

Our 5s system of methodology on our packing line delivers best practice on efficiency and effectiveness for our customers.

The 5s methodology has its roots in a Japanese system which is based on ‘achieving’ and ‘maintaining’ order specifically in the workplace and is one of the techniques that enabled JIT (just in time manufacturing).   It can also incorporate many other methods including Kanban -a scheduling system for JIT production.

The 5S system – is based on five key areas which in Japanese and English - both begin with the letter S:

  • Sort (Seiri)
  • Straighten (Seiton)
  • Shine (Seiso)
  • Standardise (Seiketsu)
  • Sustain (Shitsuke)

We include the Japanese translation to impress colleagues and friends.

Why implement 5S methodology at Holchem?

As leaders in the hygiene technology industry ensuring we deliver on promises forms the basis of our service offering at every level.  To ensure we provide this we have to be flexible in our approach and be willing to embrace new ways of monitoring and sustaining our procedures.  

Here’s our four key reasons we chose to implement the 5S methodology system on our packing line:

  • To reduce the waste of resource and space while increasing operational efficiencies
  • Everything has a place and everything is in its place at the correct operational levels.   Kanban minimum and maximum stock levels have been introduced; this saves space while ensuring we never run out of critical items
  • The ergonomics of the line has been taken into consideration so less movement and transportation is needed to operate efficiently
  • Shadow boards have been introduced for change parts and tools

Efficient thinking
Has 5s benefitted Holchem?

Although a seemingly simple philosophy the implementation of this system within a manufacturing environment required careful consideration but the benefits speak for themselves:

  • Work areas that are always clean and tidy; this also improves the safety of the work areas
  • Changeovers that are more efficient
  • Time is not wasted looking for items
  • A positive team work culture has been developed

Implementation of 5s methodology on our packing line is only the beginning for us.  We’d both encourage and recommend other organisations to embrace this streamlining of their systems.  Whether you work in a small office or large factory, perhaps you work on your own or maybe with a group of 200 others, the 5S Methodology system really has something to offer for all those willing to embrace the system.