Understanding the benefits of 5s

Wednesday 10th August 2011 - By Leo Alarcon    Share    

The benefits that a 5s project , initiative or focus can provide to staff and employees no matter what area they work in many benefits, but won't be visible and tangible straight away. This is what many business leaders, plant and office managers don't seem to be able to understand and handle because in a world were results and headline figures dictate business and individual performance there are few that truly understand that 5s is not just merely a tool to "clean up" the workshop or paint and fix up old equipment, it's a culture change as much as an improvement push, it changes people's mindsets in approaching their workplace in a similar fashion as their own homes, where care is taken to maintain cleanliness, standards and order without direct intervention from external sources.

Both managers and employees involved in the implementation of a 5s culture in the workplace should be aware that resources including time and training will be required to start the implementation phase of 5s. Depending on the area and scope of the area included in the 5s focus there may be a need to invest significant resources in bringing the area to an acceptable standard.

Areas which usually benefit not only culturally but financially from the implementation of 5s include:

-Areas where clutter and disorganization is hampering meeting customer deadlines
-Cluttered and messy workshops
-Areas where there is any of the seven wastes
-Office areas that involve high movements of people, paperwork or data

Although benefits do take some time to realize it is always prudent to perform a brief cost benefit analysis and chose an area of the business, in consultation with employees and staff, where the impact will be the greatest and it will deliver the most amounts of benefits and cultural change in the long term.

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