Since its inception after the Second World War by Toyota founder Sakichi Toyoda, “total production system (TPS)” and one of its components, 5S has been practiced mainly by big corporations.
However, small businesses have increasingly used TPS to organize their business. [See nine keys to a well-planned organization here]
5S refers to the five steps to achieve an organized workplace; seiri (sort), seiton (set in order), seiso (shine or polish), seiketsu (standardize) and shitsuke (sustain).
To the beginner, 5S may seem like any housekeeping program; however, it is more than that. 5S is a way of organizing and managing the workspace to increase a company’s efficiency and eliminate waste. It improves workplace morale, safety and efficiency. [Find out why it\\\'s necessary to let employees vent here]
It involves not only managers, but all workers down to the last employee.
Joel Amante, president of TQM (Total Quality Management) Foundation, explains that because 5S helps increase sales and reduce cost, any type of business – whether service or product-based – can implement it. [See tips on productivity even on long weekends here]
The Philippine TQM Foundation Inc. is a non-profit that works with the Bureau of Product Standards to help SMEs implement TQM. It offers programs to train and guide businesses use in this practice.
A 5S program can help, for instance, a restaurant cut food preparation time, making the process faster and workflow smoother. It also helps businesses reduce overstocking of unnecessary items – a key element of the just-in-time inventory systems under TPS – with the person in charge trained to easily spot which stocks are moving. [See 10 steps to a smooth business operation here]
Page 2: How to implement 5S