5S Method


30 Oct 2009

To improve the quality, there are many way and tools to be used. This way is not only use for Manufacturing Company's quality but also for work environment's quality. Quality on work place can reduce chaos potential likes: difficult to find important document, injury staff, etc. This chaos could be if don't neatly or not organized the stuff at work place. One of the method to prevent all things is "5S". The "5S" was developed by Japan.

"5S" is the techniques to take care environment's quality on company or institution with the way organization develop. This techniques including 5 step that doing step by step and can do in anywhere on 6 month until 2 years or until the implement being done all. Eventhough successful implement, the company still has focused to doing continuous improvement because with this way the quality can be reached.

The "5S" consist of Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke . In Indonesia "5S" translate into "5R": Ringkas, Rapi, Resik, Rawat, Rajin. Basically there are no differences between "5S" and "5R".

Seiri is the first "S" refers to "Organization". Organized means protect stuffs that needed and separate stuffs which not needed for job. Many years ago supply for company difficult to be get. Habit of throw stuffs that needed or not isn't recommended. But these day supplies need are very gorgeous. Stuff, service and information is easy to get. Now separate stuffs that not really needed is important because of Economic growth fastly. Knowing the stuffs that not needed, which want to save, and how to save for not easy access it's realized that very important for company.

The second "S" is Seiton , it means "Neatness". Neatness is how fast we put stuff and take it easily when needed. Company shouldn't easily decide where the stuffs must be put to save the time when we take it back. Received stuff's data must be collect and analyze. Analyzing need staff to be participate that use stuff many time or seldom use so the plan which want to implement can be universally.

Third "S" is Seiso that means "Clean". Clean must be done and acquanted to everyone from CEO until Office Boy level. Did you know, that this things can make real estate in Japan don't need to use Cleaning Road Service. Japanesse people know that each family have responsibility to cleaned the house or it surrounding. Using graphic in implement Seiso can very helpful. This graphic must have individual responsibility participate and each grey area must be disappear. In order to prevent different opinion that appear among staff. The different opinion are usually about who is responsible for keep it clean.

Seiketsu are forth "S" that means "Standardization". Daily activity involved the first of three "S" that must be standardize. In this step management must be real. Management used to keep neatly work environment where staff will have faster access and secure to received stuff that needed for complete they job. Color code always used in this step to remind the location of stuff. Chaos will appear and uncomfortable work status will happen if setting don't continuously concern. It can make dislike work situation.

The last "S" is Shitsuke , that means "Discipline". Discipline means doing something with the right way. Bad habitual can be reduced by teaching staff about things that must be done and make they usual for good habitual.

"5S" is not difficult, there are several step doing this:

For Seiri:

1. Checking stuff on each area

2. Define stuff category that used and no used

3. Give the red label for no used stuff

4. prepare place for saving / throwing / destroying no used stuff

5. Move the red label stuffs into ordered place

For Seiton:

1. Designed the placement method for needed stuff, so can easily get when needed

2. Placed the needed stuffs in to the ordered place that have been designed and prepared

3. Gave label/identification to easily used or returned into first place

For Seiso:

1. Searching for the root source and discover the handling

2. decided the prevent act / reduced dirty happenned

For Seiketsu:

1. Decided the clean standard, placement, arrangement

2. Communicated to each staff who's working at work place

For Shitsuke:

•  Make usual the work place condition to conformity as the standard

•  Controlling everytime

•  Correct it if there is anything wrong

•  Do Improvement, example: Make competition each department to improve effectiveness

Eventhough looks easy, there are several factors can make different opinion because unsuccessful "5S" implement, for example:

- different on put needed or no needed stuff

- don't have place to keep no needed stuff

- decision for "no needed" category stuff

- unclearly coordination


Unsuccessful "5S" implement can be happened because of lack of commitment, from manager until operation level. "5S" implement without commitment will not effective. Only can hold on several days, and will return to beginning condition.

One example for 5S implement that success is in United Electric of Watertown, MA (UE). UE has been implement this process and the result can be seen now. For Seiri, staff in UE ask to give color sign based on process in factory in that time. For Seiton, company sign the floor with line and build wall to pointed the stuff location, for example: broom or security tool. Clean or Seiso was gave it to the staff in each department. For Seiketsu and Shitsuke implement, UE build a patrol 5-8 patrol to see and answer question that probably appear. From 5S UE success to reduced neatless, configurate a place to locate the stuff, increase clean in work environment, and increase overall security.

5S is the tool that can increase product quality and work place. Nevertheless, this process not easy to be implement. This process need truly tried and commitment from all staff and also manager. If they not obey the rule, the result not satisfied and we will return to our old habitual.


  1. http://www.freequality.org/
  2. Modul Pelatihan Phitagoras Global Duta

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