5s Implementation

2s is the key

Process Improvement Japan at Gemba production site

5s implementation is easier said than done. Here are some tips from the experts:

"Every day, our priority is 2s" says the manager of a very successful (and spotless) plant of a Toyota supplier near Nagoya City, Japan. "With a good 2s environment, we easily prevent accidents, create a good space for efficiency, avoid clutter, save time when locating items, and maintain a positive atmosphere and employee motivation, and easily distinguish the right from the wrong conditions which is key for the elimination of waste."

A great 5s example of how bad 2s can have dire consequences:

A staff member at a manufacturing company had some bad news. He found out that his mistake a month earlier in design had cost the company 800,000 yen to date. (approximately $9,700.00 at Jan. 2011 exchange rates)

The root cause: After doing root cause analysis, it was uncovered that the employee hadn`t followed the proper 5s process.

The background situation: Materials and supplies in the office were casually placed; often in disorder.

What happened?: There were two drawings that were similar in design. The labels were also similar. He had taken the wrong drawing and based the design order on those specs. Unknowingly, production started...and a month later, wasted time, wasted effort and wasted money (not to mentioned embarrassment and shame) were the end results. The employee told us he had learned a great lesson on not taking full responsibility - he had been careless and assumed that keeping up good 5s standards was outside his job description. What a mistake!

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