5S Intro: Housekeeping skills with a difference

|  2 minute read

For the past few years, Signet has been employing a simple and effective solution to workloads that ensures efficiency, accuracy and reduced waste; something all businesses continually wrestle with. This solution has led to great developments not only with Signet, but with many other businesses using the same idea – the 5 ‘S’.

Signet has a lean focus and this is only achieved by sustaining business processes. We like to encourage a community of continuous improvement, and 5S promised a system that helps us strive forwards. We have been very impressed with the results, and want to share with you how it can help your business.

The 5S come from the 5 Japanese words: seiriseitonseisoseiketsu, and shitsuke, which can be translated respectively to:

5S has been shown over the years to dramatically improve business processes and systems.

The journey of 5S began in Japan, with Sakichi Toyoda and his son Kichiro adopting and modifying processes, creating a continuous improvement movement*. This was the backbone which formed Toyota – an idea that suggested a level of importance and value for every process to the employee – from the start to the end product. Workspace organisation leapt forward, and employees were filled with pride. 5S innovation had created a great quality process improvement.

Toyota would start streamlining their way to becoming one of the world’s top contenders in the automobile market. Sakichi Toyoda’s lineage would carry on through the business, with a continuous improvement movement that still drives them forward today.

To the West…

With the success of Toyota, many other industries look to their model for inspiration. 5s grew into a science that proved simple housekeeping skills could greatly improve efficiency. The quality improvement, productive maintenance and visual workplaces defined the industries that used them.

5S also enabled other manufacturing processes; such methods as Just-In-Time Manufacturing (JIT)**, Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) or Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) wouldn’t be the same without 5S.

So whether you’re a small business, medium enterprise or large corporation, 5S can benefit your workplace to reduce waste, increases productivity and gives each employee a sense of importance and pride in their role. Every job and piece of equipment, whether packaging or safety barriers, must be essential to the end product or service, and with 5S, we can help you make sure that all the non-essential, inefficient processes are changed to something worth your time.

Each month, we at Signet want to share what we’ve learnt and applied from the 5S, focusing on each ‘S’ one at a time. We want to show that you don’t have to bubble wrap your business to keep it safe – you can make processes faster without losing quality.


** http://www.toyota.com.au/toyota/company/operations/toyota-production-system

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