Do you know the 5S method?

Tiempo de lectura: 4 minutos
Tiempo de lectura: 4 minutos

Many of us have heard of the work methods imported from Japan and especially the 5S method, but do we know how it has changed our working lives?
A little history will help us understand and respond to any questions that we might have.
The automotive sector is and has been an industry that has pushed economic growth in all countries. It has improved the productivity and efficiency of the assembly thereby reducing cost and achieving technological improvements generated in the manufactured product. However, all the methods discovered, like JIT (Just in Time), SMED, KANBAN, KAIZEN, etc., could not be applied without having a logical and organized work method that the workers always respect. This method is based on the principle that the 5S method is based on, developed by the Japanese company Toyota in the 60s.
Keep in mind that in the automotive sector they handle thousands of references and change articles according to demand, with the resulting CAOS if there was a working methodology that annotates unproductive, error reduction in logistics or human, and lost time. It is not acceptable that you buy a car and something is wrong with it (ZERO DEFECTS policy).
Today, a company has no future if it is not competitive and this is reflected in the good management of cost reduction, production improvements, and innovation.
So how is this done?
A good start would lie in the application of methods of improvement, with the 5S method being an excellent start in these best practices, understood not only as a working method, but as a philosophy that must be followed by all of the company’s staff, who must participate in the common goal of the organization.


There is much information about the meaning of 5 S and this is not the purpose of this article, but as a reminder, we will briefly review the 5 words that begin with S:

  • Seiri: Classification, distinguishing between what is needed and saved and what is not needed and is removed
  • Seiton: Organization, order, organize the necessary things logically, so that it is easier to find when needed
  • Seiso: Cleanliness, have the work area clean and keep things neat and tidy
  • Seiketsu: Standardization, maintain the first 3 S (Seiri, Seiton and Seiso)
  • Shitsuke: Habit, the discipline to maintain the correct procedures

A company that applies the 5 S will obtain numerous benefits:

  • Reduction of waste either in the form of semi-finished products, finished products, unnecessary storage and/or actions that do not add value to the product
  • Improved safety, since machine errors are detected before and no tools are left in areas that may create a risk, defective items are removed
  • Reduction in lost time looking for tools, parts, or just equipment.
  • Reduction of defects and improved quality of our work.
  • Decreased storage in areas for obsolete or defective products.
  • Improved maintenance of equipment and productivity
  • Increased reliability and worker confidence as a result of the Company
  • Company service quality improvement in planning, delivery is made on time
  • Improved environment within the company and between the staff

In every workplace many methods of improvement can be applied, but keep in mind a principle that must be respected for its efficacy:

  • Management has to be involved and lead by example
  • The staff must understand the purpose of the method
  • The staff must participate in the implementation
  • It must have a control system so that the HABIT becomes effective
  • Informing the whole company of the advances that are being obtained is a motivating factor
  • The workplace has changed and there is no returning, the future of Enterprise 2.0 is to take advantage of organizational changes to be applied in large companies and adapt them to smaller companies

This app will help you with applying the methodology:
5s Audit5s Audit is an application that allows us to carry out the 5S audit in any department of any industry, with a set of audit questions that can be put into practice in all types of organizations.
The app is free and with it you can create reusable templates, create audits based on the templates, manage the audit and generate a PDF report or send via email.
Screenshots of the app:

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