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5S Program


A basic, fundamental, systematic approach for productivity, quality and safety improvement in all types of business.


What is a Five S Program?


A Five S program is usually a part of, and the key component of Visual Factory (Workplace) Management (VFM). And 5s and VFM are both a part of Kaizen - a system of continual improvement.

The Five S program focuses on having visual order, organization, cleanliness and standardization. The results you can expect from a Five S program are: improved profitability, efficiency, service and safety.

The principles underlying a Five S program at first appear to be simple, obvious common sense. And they are. But until the advent of Five S programs many businesses ignored these basic principles.


What types of businesses benefit from a Five S program?


Everyone and all types of business benefit from having a Five S program. Manufacturing and industrial plants come to mind first, as those are the business that can realize the greatest benefits. However, any type of business, from a retail store to a power plant - from hospitals to television stations - all types of businesses, and all areas within a business, will realize benefits from implementing a Five S program.


What are the Five S's?


  • Sort
  • Set In Order
  • Shine
  • Standardize
  • Sustain


What will it cost me?


Example: An industry is spending nearly a million dollars to develop a Five S program the industry can use, and to implement that program at two shipyards. On the other hand you can implement a Five S program without adding an extra dollar to your budget.

Realistically you probably will need to spend some extra money to get your Five S program going. There will be training time; man-hours spent to get your facility cleaned up and organized; equipment purchases, such as buying a quality labeling system; and time spent on sustaining your Five S program once it is in place.

Your actual costs will depend on where you are now - for example what is the condition of your facility? The further you are from meeting the goals of a Five S program, the more it will cost to implement one and the greater the benefits you'll see as a result of your Five S program.

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