Organization, order, and cleanliness are unfortunately some of the biggest deficiencies in Western companies.

1. Introduction

In an increasingly competitive world, achieving advantages in various critical points makes a difference in quality, productivity, costs, and customer service. Not only the results that can be achieved in each of these critical aspects count, but also the result that can be achieved from the combination and complementarity of said aspects.

Thus we have that the application of the Five “S” (5S) can obtain lower stock levels, faster tool detection, reduction in accident levels, and improvement in equipment maintenance, among others. From the SMED (System for the Rapid Change of Tools or Quick Preparation Times) shorter times are achieved in the preparation of machines or changes of dies among others. In the combination of both tools, the SMED is greatly favored by the cleanliness and order of the tools to be used.

In the wake of major and profound changes, factories and other organizations must find new and better ways to ensure their survival by adapting to the changing business environment. Making this feasible implies generating new forms of management that are more appropriate to these new times and trends.

The systematic implementation of the five pillars is the starting point for the development of improvement activities to ensure survival. These five pillars are Organization, Order, Cleanliness, Standardization, and Discipline.

Just imagine an organization whose people don’t mind working in dust, clutter, and dirt. Under such circumstances, the search for tools, papers, and supplies is part of the job, but unproductive work that does not generate added value for external clients or for the company or organization.

In addition, within such conditions of dirt, disorganization, and disorder, the level of motivation of the personnel is low, as is the quality of the products and services, all of which ends up being felt in the levels of productivity and consequently in the costs.

Organization and order are the foundation for achieving zero defects, cost reductions, safety improvements, and zero accidents.

The five pillars being such simple concepts make people lose sight of their critical importance. It should be underlined and made clear that:

  • A clean and neat factory generates fewer defects.
  • A clean and neat factory better meets deadlines.
  • A clean and neat factory is much safer.
  • A clean and neat factory has a higher level of productivity.

It must be made very clear that 5S is not only a methodology applicable to factories but to any type of organization. We should say that more than applicable they are mandatory. Let’s think about sanatoriums or hospitals, banks, insurance companies, hotels, construction companies, or government agencies, all of them are widely favored in the application and implementation of 5S. Organization, ordercleanlinessstandardization, and discipline are factors that any organization or entity that intends to be effective and efficient must fundamentally take into account.

2. His philosophy and reason for being

The human being has, on average, a strong tendency to accumulate elements, keeping them disordered and in greater quantity than necessary. Always leaving cleaning for later. If this had not been the case, the training, advisory, and implementation services of 5S would not be so required by so many organizations.

Thus, the raison d’être is to eliminate the source of accidents, unproductiveness, costs, quality failures, and loss of time, among others. Oil stains or sharp elements out of place can cause serious accidents, and elements located in the wrong place can generate contamination, sources of infection, or chemical reactions. Tools or instruments of high value misordered give rise to theft or loss with consequent monetary losses. Not having the elements in order makes it difficult to detect and use them later. Not having the tools always in good condition and cleanly generate a loss of time in the development of activities. Dirty places decrease the suitable conditions for defect-free production.

In the search for 5S and its implementation, not only is the primary objective sought, but also to train staff to reflect on the costs and problems detected, improve the visual management of the organization, and make 5S a formidable tool to reduce muda, while reducing stock levels, reduce tool change times, reduce unnecessary movements or excess movements, reduce internal transport needs, that is, significantly improve the layout, reduce failure levels and the consequent reprocessing or scrab work.

In this way, when applying each of the five pillars, we must ask ourselves how we can at the same time contribute to reducing the levels of removal or waste, how we can improve productivity, quality, costs, response and delivery times, and levels satisfaction of staff and customers and consumers.

The application of the five pillars must serve as a basis for constant reflection (hansei) and continuous improvement ( kaizen ).

The Five “S” are considered, by world-class factories, as the basis for the application of Just in Time, Total Productive Maintenance, Total Quality Management, and excellence.

The name Five “S” (5S) comes from the five Japanese terms: seiriseitonseisoseiketsu, and shitsuke, used to designate the phases of organization, order, cleanliness, standardization, and discipline.

3. Main exhibitors. differences.

On the one hand, there are exhibitions by Hiroyuki Hirano, and on the other, those by Masaaki Imai. Imai exposes the 5S considering in its essence the same as Hirano, only that he exposes it as follows:

  • Seiri. Consistent in differentiating the necessary elements from those that are not, proceeding to discard the latter.
  • Seiton. We proceed to systematically order all the elements qualified as necessary after applying the seiri.
  • Six. Maintenance and inspection of machines, tools, materials, and work environment.
  • Seiketsu. Extend the cleanliness and safety factors to the staff, standardizing the three previous pillars.
  • Shitsuke. Create habit and discipline for the establishment and conservation of the necessary elements, in the required order and cleanliness.

Western companies in their application of the five “S” (housekeeping) catalog the steps as:

  • Sort. Separate everything unnecessary and proceed to its elimination.
  • Straighten. Put the necessary elements in order in such a way that they can be accessed quickly and easily.
  • Scrub. Clean everything, removing stains, grime, and debris and eradicating sources of dirt.
  • Systematize. Carry out routine cleaning and organization tasks.
  • Standardize. Standardize the four previous steps to make them habitual and a source of continuous improvement.
See also  The visual factory of the Kanban system and management by indicator boards

Companies that practice Lean Manufacturing refer to these five steps as the Five “C” Campaign.

  • Clear out. Determine what is necessary and what is not, proceeding to eliminate the latter.
  • configure. Provide a convenient, safe, and orderly place for everything, and keep everything there.
  • Clean and check. Proceed with continuous cleaning and verification (inspection).
  • Conform. Set the standard, train, and maintain.
  • Custom and practice. Develop routine maintenance practices and strive for further improvement.

While Hirano determines the steps to follow as:

  • Organization
  • Order
  • Cleaning
  • Standardization (also referred to as Standardized Cleaning)
  • Discipline

Each of these activities is described below.

4. Benefits of putting 5S into practice

  1.  It makes it possible to change tools faster, or rather, shorter preparation times due to the good condition of the tools and equipment, the best ordering of the elements and instruments, and consequently the shortest search time (or rather “zero time” ) with all that this implies when it comes to increasing the possibilities of producing a greater variety of parts and products.
  2. The knowledge and order of inputs, materials, and tools avoid their repurchase, their excessive stock, and a deep analysis of the causes and consequences that led to said waste.
  3. Avoid and prevent both illnesses and accidents at work.
  4. Reduces the possibility of accidents, greatly reducing risks.
  5. Allows better inspection of tools, equipment, and facilities.
  6. Improves the control of inputs, products in process, and finished products.
  7. Avoid the loss, misplacement, obsolescence, destruction, and theft of materials, merchandise, and tools.
  8. Increase the available space.
  9. It serves to improve prevention in every one of its aspects.
  10. It improves both layout and ergonomics, greatly increasing productivity levels.
  11. Reduce, prevent, and eliminate excess stock.
  12. Improves employee motivation.
  13. It manages to improve customer satisfaction and the image of the company.
  14. Reduces failures and defects in production processes.
  15. Facilitates the internal movement of materials, inputs, and finished products.
  16. Facilitates faster control of stock levels and their shortages or excesses.
  17. It contributes both to increasing productivity and reducing costs.

5. Benefits for staff

  • Make the place or workspace more pleasant.
  • Achieve greater job satisfaction.
  • Eradicate obstacles and frustrations.
  • Improve communications.
  • Make your stay at the plant or workplace less risky.
  • Make spaces healthier and more comfortable.
  • Create the foundations for greater motivation.
  • Feeling respected by the company and its managers.

6. Resistance to implantation

It is not uncommon, and therefore it is quite common to hear statements such as:

  • “What’s good about Organization and Order?”
  • “Why clean if everything gets dirty again?”
  • “The implementation of Organization and Order will not increase production”
  • “We have previously implemented Organization and Order”
  • “We are too busy to deal with it now”
  • “What is the need to implement the 5S”

Publicizing the benefits, not only those that are generated for the company but also those that result for the workers, and the need to proceed immediately with its implementation to be able to compete with possibilities in the current markets is an assignment in charge of the maximum company leader. Motivating and managing change is precisely the fundamental obligation in these new times that run from the leader.

Refusing to change is the same as resigning yourself to failure in the fight for competitiveness. A company that intends to survive and grow to be more competitive must start at the base and that base is given by the Five Pillars.

7. Organization

The Organization can be defined as the activity of removing from the different sectors or processes all those elements that are not necessary for the operations, whether they are productive or office tasks.

The activity of organizing does not imply getting rid of only the items that you are sure you will never need. Nor does it mean simply ordering things, organization means leaving only what is strictly necessary. In this way, if you have doubts about something, you should proceed to discard it. This principle is a key part of the Organization within the Five Pillars system.

This first pillar creates a work environment in which space, time, money, energy, and other resources can be managed and used in a highly effective way. If this first pillar is well implemented, problems and inconveniences in the workflow are significantly reduced, communication between employees is improved, the quality of products and services is increased, and productivity is increased.

8. Problems avoided by applying the first pillar

When this is not applied or is poorly implemented, problems arise such as:

  1. The factory tends to be increasingly messy, making work difficult.
  2. Shelves, drawers, and cabinets for storing unnecessary things are a real obstacle between employees, preventing good communication between them.
  3. Time is wasted searching for materials, parts, and tools.
  4. It is extremely expensive to maintain excess stock, be it inputs or finished products.
  5. Unnecessary equipment and elements make it difficult to improve the production flow.

9. Implementing the Organization

The Red Cards strategy is the fundamental step to making the Organization possible. With this strategy, we proceed to identify the potentially unnecessary elements in the factory, warehouses, sales room, and offices, from those that are not. Proceeding to evaluate their usefulness and treating them appropriately.

The method consists of sticking or placing red cards on those elements that have to be evaluated to see if they are really necessary or not. Red cards help attract people’s attention because red is a striking or standout color. An object with a red card is asking for answers to these three questions:

  1. Is this item necessary?
  2. If necessary, is it in this quantity?
  3. If necessary and in this amount, does it need to be in this location?

Once these elements are identified, they must be evaluated and treated appropriately. The actions that can and should be carried out are:

  • Keep them in a special maintenance area for red card items, for some time waiting to see if they are needed or not.
  • Discard them.
  • Change their location.
  • Leave them where they are.

To effectively implement the red card strategy, a maintenance area must be created for items that have red cards added for further evaluation.

The red card process in a department, area, or work process can be broken down into seven steps, namely:

  1. Launch of the red card project.
  2. Identification of the goals of the red cards.
  3. Criteria for assigning red cards.
  4. Design the red cards.
  5. Attach red cards.
  6. Evaluate the items with a red card.
  7. Document the results of the red cards.

Conveniently, the design of the cards has specially assigned places to record the category of the element (materials, tools, products in process, etc.), the name of the element, and the quantity.

Subsequently, the cards must be transcribed by area or process to a spreadsheet, in which the unit and group values ​​will be placed, as well as the total.

10. Unnecessary items that most commonly accumulate

  • Defective products or excess quantities of small parts and other stocks.
  • Broken or out-of-use templates and dies.
  • Worn bits.
  • Broken or out-of-use inspection tools and instruments.
  • Old cleaning media.
  • Outdated stationery.
  • Newspapers, magazines, and other publications.
See also  SMED: Single Minute Exchange Die, Fundamental Concepts

11. Places where unnecessary items accumulate

  • In rooms or areas not designated for any particular purpose.
  • In corners near entrances or exits.
  • In toolboxes not classified.
  • On top of shelves and under eaves of warehouses.
  • Under tables and shelves and in cabinets and drawers.
  • Near the bottom of tall piles of materials.

12. Order

The Order implies proceeding to assign a place for everything and to place everything in its place. Organization and order work best when put into practice together.

Order is extremely important because it allows the elimination of many and varied types of waste in production, sales, and office activities. The waste of time invested in the search for elements occurs frequently both in the factory and in offices and even in sales places and warehouses. So it’s not unusual for a tool change routine to include up to 30 minutes spent on unproductive search activities.

With the implementation of the Order, it is possible to avoid such as:

  • Movement waste.
  • Search waste.
  • Waste of people’s energy.
  • Waste of excess stocks.
  • Waste of defective products.
  • Waste due to unsafe conditions.

13. Standardization within the order

Standardization involves designing a consistent way to perform tasks and procedures. When it comes to standardizing, you must think in terms of “anyone”. This implies that anyone can operate the machines whose operations have been standardized, in the same way standardizing places for the placement of elements, the way of cleaning and accumulating materials, implies that anyone will be able to comply with the established requirements. Order is the essence of standardization. This is a consequence of the fact that workstations must be and remain orderly before any type of standardization can be effectively implemented.

14. Visual Controls

A quick understanding of where things are or how they are done leads us to the concept of visual control. Visual control is any means of communication used in the work environment that informs us at a glance how the work should be done. Visual controls are used as a way to communicate information such as:

  • Where the elements or materials should be.
  • How many things should be there?
  • What is the standard procedure for doing something?
  • The status of the work in progress.
  • The fastest way to get to a factory or warehouse site.

The key point is that by implementing standardization in such a way that all standards are identified by visual checks there is only one place for everything and we can tell immediately if a particular operation is proceeding normally or not.

15. How to establish order

It consists of the practice of two steps:

  • Step 1: Decide the most appropriate location taking into consideration: a) the fastest way to find and use them, b) minimize the internal transfer of materials (layout), c) space reduction, d) avoid unnecessary movements, and above all harmful (ergonomics), and e) ensure that they do not generate risks or dangers based on their location and proximity to other elements or components (example: do not place poisonous or fumigant elements near or in close contact with food or tableware).
  • Step 2: Clearly and precisely determine the locations. Once the best locations have been determined, it is essential to proceed to identify them so that everyone can easily and quickly find the objects and/or spaces, as well as quickly know how many things are in each place, and if they are where they belong (visual control).

16. Strategy of indicators

This strategy makes use of cards or labels to identify what, where, and how much of each input or component should be. The three main types of indicators are:

  1. Those of location, are used to indicate where the elements have to be and are.
  2. Elements, which show the specific elements that are placed in each place.
  3. Of quantity, which indicates how many elements there must be in each point.

17. Paint Strategy

This strategy is a methodology to identify locations on floors and corridors. It is called a “painting strategy” because paint is the material that is generally used.

The painting strategy is used to create dividing lines that mark the division between transit areas, storage areas, and work areas.

Its most frequent uses are intended for:

  • Car storage locations.
  • Hall direction.
  • Door Reach, to show the swept area when opening a door.
  • Placement of marks to locate work tables.
  • “Tiger” markings, to show areas where parts or equipment should not be located, or to point out dangerous areas.

18. Color Coding Strategy

It is used to indicate the parts, tools, templates, and supplies that must be used for each purpose. For example, if certain parts have to be used to make a particular product, they can all be color-coded and even stored in one color-coded area. Similarly, if different lubricants are to be used in different parts of a machine, supply containers, lubricators, and machine parts can be color-coded to indicate the lubricant to be used in each part of the machine or equipment.

19. Contour Strategy

Contour drawing is a good means of indicating placement sites for jig and tool storage. It is simply a matter of drawing the outlines of templates and tools in the appropriate storage positions. In such a way that when a tool has to be returned to its place, the drawing of its outline provides an additional indication of where it must be placed.

20. Combine Inventory Software with 5S

Said combination allows entering a warehouse or stock software and knowing first in which physical location the materials or elements are, and secondly using specially printed signals or by the monitor to determine the excess or lack of materials.

21. Cleaning

The third pillar is cleanliness, which is defined as keeping everything in a total and perfect state of neatness.

  • Cleaning allows better maintenance and inspection of machines, equipment, and facilities.
  • Avoid the occurrence of accidents.
  • Prevents the possibility of explosions, fires, and short circuits.
  • Avoid spoiling inputs and materials.
  • Prevents the spread of pests, bacteria, and microbes.
  • Prevents or reduces contamination.
  • Reduces the possibility of disease transmission.
  • Improves the mood of the staff.
  • It presents customers and users with a better image of the company.

Cleaning implies inspection. Hence one of its key functions.

22. Cleaning Implementation

  1. The first step consists of determining the goals of the cleaning, that is, which areas, elements, and equipment will be the object of activity by each group designated for this purpose.
  2. In the second step, the person who will be responsible for cleaning is designated.
  3. The determination of the cleaning methods is the third step to carry out.
  4. The fourth step consists of conveniently preparing the tools and other elements or supplies to be used for cleaning.
  5. Proceeding to run the cleanup is the fifth and final step.
See also  Japanese production 5S program

As a way to permanently maintain a state of total cleanliness, it is necessary to systematically incorporate inspection into cleaning.

23. Standardization

It is the existing state when the first three pillars are properly preserved. It prevents a return to the previous conditions or state of affairs.

The supreme objective of this pillar is to avoid that, once the first three pillars have been fulfilled, they can go back into the state situation, returning to a state of disorder, dirt, excesses, and a state of confusion.

24. Making Organization, Order, and Cleaning a habit

To achieve this, it is necessary to take three steps consisting of:

Step 1: Decide who is responsible for which activities concerning the conditions of the first three pillars.
Step 2: Prevent setbacks from taking place by integrating the maintenance and improvement of the three pillars into daily activities.
Step 3: Proceed to verify the level of quality of maintenance of the three pillars.

25. 5S Visuals

The concept of Visual 5S is to make the level of conditions of the five pillars obvious at a glance. This is particularly useful in factories that handle a large variety and number of materials.

The three main points to consider about Visual 5S are:

  • anyone should be able.
  • to distinguish between normal and abnormal conditions
  • at a glance

26. Prevention

When the problems after being solved regenerate or repeat themselves, it is necessary to raise the level of standardization to the degree of prevention. The best way to prevent recurrence is by asking yourself about the root causes of it. In this way, we will be able to create a state of Unbreakable Organization-Order and Cleanliness.

Among the various forms of prevention, we have:

  • Suspension. The technique consists of suspending the tool above the operator through the use of supports. In this way, when the operator finishes using the tool, he simply releases it and automatically returns to its storage position at height. Through this technique, the unbreakable Order is achieved.
  • Incorporation. It involves creating a flow of items or operations in a process in which: (1) jigs, tools, and gages are seamlessly integrated into the process, and (2) such media are stored where they are used, and therefore not they have to be returned after used.
  • Elimination of use. There are three ways to achieve this. The first involves the unification of tools consisting of combining the functions of two or more tools into one. The second way involves tool substitution which involves using a means that serves the tool function, eliminating it. A clear and simple example of this is the replacement of the key to tighten bolts, with bolts with ears, which facilitates tightening by hand. The third method consists directly of the change of method. Thus, instead of tightening with ears by hand, we use clamps and pliers, among others.

27. Preventive cleaning

Before cleaning we must prevent dirt from occurring. To eliminate the cleanup effort as much as possible, the key is to treat contamination problems at the source. For this, it is essential to use the “Five Whys and a How” method. An example must serve such purposes. If there are puddles of oil, it is convenient to investigate where it is leaking from and give the corresponding solution.

Why is the floor cleaned every day?
Because oil falls on it.

Why does said oil fall?
Because there is a leak in the drill press.

In which part of it does the loss take place?
From a valve.

What causes the loss of said valve?
To a fissure

Why hasn’t said valve been replaced?
Because we hadn’t warned.

How can you coordinate the repair of it?
The maintenance team will proceed to replace it.

In this way, the closer we can get to the source of contamination, the more capacity we must have to implement Standardized Cleaning.

28. The Last Pillar: Discipline

In the context of the five pillars, Discipline has a different meaning. It means getting in the habit of correctly maintaining proper procedures.

The importance of Discipline lies in the fact that without it, the implementation of the first four pillars would quickly deteriorate.

Both the management of the company and the employees must play a fundamental role in generating a high degree of discipline. Among the tools to achieve this discipline, we have:

  1. Ongoing training and training.
  2. The use of posters and slogans.
  3. Printing internal newsletters.
  4. The competition between departments, sectors, or processes.
  5. Visiting other companies that practice 5S and/or other branches of the same company.

29. Conclusion

Organization, order, and cleanliness are unfortunately usually one of the biggest deficiencies in Western companies. The problem stems from the fact that both management and workers do not find a direct relationship between them and productivity, quality, and costs.

When the five pillars are effectively implemented, it is possible to achieve rapid control of the workplace, verifying:

  • That there is nothing extra or unnecessary.
  • There is a place for everything and everything is in its place.
  • You can see total cleanliness.
  • Information is accessible at a glance.
  • Paperwork has been reduced to its bare minimum.
  • Waste or abnormality is quickly appreciated.
  • The methods are standardized and easy to understand and apply.

The Seiri and the Seiton are for Monden the initial steps that lead to Kaizen, thereby clearly establishing its critical importance for the improvement of processes in the company.

5S doesn’t mean just painting tool outlines, doing continual sweeping and cleaning, or just removing things you don’t use. The implementation of the five pillars implies the understanding and implementation of a philosophy and spirit of work on the one hand and the other the clear and precise execution of a series of steps and methods leading to the overall improvement of the workplace.

By improving the workplace, it is possible to simultaneously improve the self-esteem of the workers, improve the image of the company, generate higher quality products, increase productivity and reduce costs, and make the workplace a fuller and more motivating place, which increases employee satisfaction and creates the foundation for excellence.

From all that has been said above, it is clear the importance that 5S has within the implementation of continuous improvement (kaizen), as well as its capacity as a tool for improvement in terms of maintenance.

30. Bibliography

TPM for an efficient factory – Ken’ichi Sekine and Keisuki Arai – Editorial TGP Hoshin – 2006
Continuous Order and Cleaning System – Mauricio Lefcovich – – 2006
The Five “S” Plus – Mauricio Lefcovich – www.gestiopolis. com – 2004
Just in Time today at Toyota – Y. Monden – Editorial Deusto – 2005.