What is 5 S?


My first job was at a small IT firm here in Davao. It was a good start for an aspiring IT professional to be employed at that company. There was much learning not only from a technical point of view, but also in terms of business logic and human resources. One of which would be the 5S. I first encountered the term at that company but they never did tell us what those 5 S's were. When our HR officer says "Let's do a 5S!", all employees proceed to general cleaning. We dust out the dirt from our system units, wipe our monitors' screens, and clean the balls of our mouse.
Until the time I left the company, I didn't know what 5S means. All I know is 5S means cleaning.
Good thing though is that I took up MBA (Masters in Business Administration) where I first encountered the term TQM (Total Quality Management). In TQM, high product quality will enable the business to save on costs and improve bottom line (profit in most cases).



Here, I learned about how the Japanese developed a systematic approach to the elimination of root cause of product defects (I was only oriented with the Kaizen). It's composed of a 4 steps:



  1. Kaizen - a system of continuous improvement,
  2. Atarimae hinshitsu- examines intangibles that affect the process and works to optimize their impact on the process,
  3. Kansei - (Five Senses, concentrates on the user of the product), and
  4. Miryokuteki hinshitsu - broadens the management concern beyond the immediate product. This is a business-oriented step that looks for opportunity in related areas identified by observing the use of the product in the marketplace,
5S is part of Kaizen (which is of top priority for many companies). 5S refers to the starting letters of the 5 Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. Here are their meanings:

Japanese Term

English Equivalent

Meaning in Japanese Context

Seiri

Tidiness

Throw away all rubbish and unrelated materials in the workplace

Seiton

Orderliness

Set everything in proper place for quick retrieval and storage

Seiso

Cleanliness

Clean the workplace; everyone should be a janitor

Seiketsu

Standardization

Standardize the way of maintaining cleanliness

Shitsuke

Discipline

Practice 'Five S' daily - make it a way of life; this also means 'commitment'


5S is all about establishing not just a visual workplace, but a standardized and organized one. Although this is undertaken mostly in a working environment, we can also practice it at our homes or in anything we do. After all, we are all capable of "continuous improvement". :D

ener.gee incorporated

Tried this site out of curiosity and from some blog review site. It's some sort of online game that gives you $100 million to run you own company. I have created the "Rixxtech" company for $100 with Stock Price of $ 11.82 per share (Well I don't really know how they computed that 11.82). From what I know, incorporators decide on how much the price per share should be (not too big so as to avoid high taxes, and not too small to be able to attract investors). The challenge is "can you run a Green Energy Company?" What is a Green Company? To be considered a Green Company, part of their goal should be to minimize the damage that the business may have caused the environment. The company seeks to be as environment friendly as possible. Now for this site, they are challenging any business minded individual to run a Green Company-- an Energy Company. It's a good practice though. For those who want to start their own business, practicing in some online investment game should be a fun start.