We came across this great article from the iSixSigma network….

A Model for Implementing a 5S Program by Janet Bautista Smith

The process improvement tool 5S (sort, straighten, shine, standardize, sustain) sounds like a simple concept to implement – and it is. But its simplicity is sometimes the cause of its early demise – it is easy to “do” 5S without much effort or strategic coordination, and thus without as much effect as possible.

A 5S initiative can fall broadly into one of two categories: 1) department-specific wherein each department manages the 5S initiatives specific to the department, or 2) corporate-wide wherein designated teams independent of the departments deploy and manage the 5S initiatives. A successful 5S deployment path is one that is aligned with a company’s strategic plan and priorities, optimizing resources to add value.

Whether department-specific or corporate-wide, the 5S initiative that is most likely to lead to the best results is the one that follows the integrated-with-the-process model of implementation. Here, the 5S elements are embedded within day-to-day operational processes. This model can be contrasted with a stand-alone model, in which 5S is executed independently of processes. Table 1 compares the integrated-with-the-process model to the stand-alone model.

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