30 November 2021

5S Japanese Approach

Feyza Uzun
| Blog
5S Japanese Approach


Japanese 5s Tactic

The Japanese 5s tactic is an approach that was first introduced by Toyota to eliminate unnecessary waste and inefficiency, and that allows effective results in workplace organization. Since it is understood that this approach, which was designed primarily to be applied in production, can be applied to the lives of individuals over time, it has even taken a place in the education curriculum in Japan today.

What is the Japanese 5S tactic, how is it applied?

The Japanese 5s tactic is named with the initials of the words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke and has passed into our language as sorting, order, cleanliness, standardization and discipline. It was designed to encompass a range of methodologies such as JIT (just in time) and JIDOKA to reduce waste and increase efficiency from post-Japanese manufacturing.

The approach, which was initially kept as a secret and was applied only by the creators of the tactic, has also become applied by foreign companies after the economic boom in Japan in the 1980s.
So, what are the steps that make up this tactic, let's go into some detail.

Sorting: Gather only materials required for production. In this way, you can understand what is necessary and what is unnecessary in production and ensure that those that do not need to be used are removed from the production area.
Layout: Make sure all items are organized and each item has a designated place. Arrange all remaining items in the workplace in a logical way to make it easier for employees to complete their tasks. This often requires a number of precautions, such as placing items in ergonomic positions where people don't have to bend over or make extra movements to reach them.
Cleanliness: The sum total of proactive efforts to keep workplace areas clean and tidy to ensure purposeful work. This means cleaning and maintaining the newly organized workspace. It also includes routine work such as mopping, dusting, or maintaining machinery, tools, and other equipment.
Standardization: Establish a set of standards for both the corporate organization and the processes carried out. In essence, this is where you get the first three S's and set the rules for how and when these tasks are to be accomplished. These standards may also include a number of mnemonic factors such as charts, lists and plans.
Discipline: Discipline, which is the last link of the 5s tactic of the Japanese, is not only a part of the approach, but also an understanding of life. Continuing the new practices you have introduced so far in a discipline also ensures that the newcomers to the organization quickly adapt to this situation.

Benefits of the 5S system

The Japanese 5s tactic has become an invariable part of the lean production method. This approach not only contributes to the establishment of high standards in the workplace, but also supports the creativity of the employees. The fact that the employees in a workplace work in a simple, well-maintained, sustainable and disciplined structure that has standards, above all contributes to the motivation of the employees and their enjoyment while working.

Although in some cases applying the Japanese 5s tactic can be a difficult process for an organization, the best part of this tactic is that you have the chance to apply it one by one over time by breaking it into pieces.

E.g; If you are not in a time frame for your attempt to reduce materials used in production, you can proceed to the next step and continue the application without interrupting the process.
The Japanese 5s tactic is by nature an approach designed to bring order and efficiency to your business. Contrary to the days when the approach emerged, it is possible to adapt computer technologies to the process today. Please contact us for detailed information on how to integrate the strong infrastructure brought by technology to all the processes you implement in your business.