Japanese 5s

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"Effective 5s implementation is the foundation of our success.", F. Hayakawa, 5s Expert, Toyota Motor Corporation Supplier Company, Japan.



Japanese 5s is a must in all Toyota Motor Corporation affiliated companies. Why? The benefits are endless - from a reduction in defect rates and enhanced total quality control to the elimination of waste and lean process improvement.

Overheard at the office:

Regarding a 5s office system:
"This is just my opinion. The most important thing in 5s is discipline. This is because a person who has good 5s discipline can do the other 4s. Good discipine makes a workplace clean. A Clean workplace will be safe and efficient. Safety and efficiency ensures good quality. Good quality creates customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction brings in more sales. Good sales ensures good salary. A good salary makes employees motivated. To make this cycle, a 5s program is required."

T.A, Information Systems, Toyota Motor Corporation supplier, Japan

How to instill workplace motivation for a 5s program?

As Mr. Yasuhito Yamauchi, former Senior Managing Director of Toyota Motor Corporation says, "In order for employees to follow standards exactly, they must truly understand the value of the process." Mr. Yamauchi also expresses the importance of training and education in order for all team members to get on board and acquire the skills to complete their tasks.

For Mr. Yamauchi`s full interview on motivation in the workplace, click here.

Here, Kozo Sakano expresses the value of lean 5s in a poem:

The Essence of Japanese 5s
By Kozo Sakano

An elderly gentleman
Suddenly appeared
And spoke to me
In my office.

He talked about
The essence of kaizen.

He revealed
He had helped thousands of companies to grow
Throughout his life.

He unveiled
5s is essential to good kaizen.

5s brings about Zen state of mind
5s brings about Zen state of work environment,
Giving beauty and dignity
To all of us.

This bearded old man seemed to possess
A infinite expertise.

His chronological age
I dared not ask.

The name of this old gentleman was
Koji Suzuki.

Koji Suzuki, Process Improvement Japan`s lean sensei


Koji Suzuki is Process Improvement Japan`s lean sensei. He is a manga representation of our Toyota Group mentors that have helped us along the way. Throughout this website, he reveals his wisdom.



For Japanese 5s Principles into Practice training, click here.

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