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5S is not dead-its just upside down!

How many times have you heard “we are implementing 5s and we are up to the second’s” what does that mean? In short we have some consultants in, spent a fortune on buffets and overtime and then paid expensive people to clean up the shop floor, pointless!

We should turn 5s on its head and start from what we consider to be the fifth ‘S’ that of creating continuous improvement.

Why not develop the improvement framework before we start, ensure we are part of the business deployment system, fixing the right wastes and ensuring all stakeholders are aligned. Next go after the 4th ‘S’ and create some standards-or goals-what we want the area to be.

Now the fancy bit becomes using steps 1, 2 and 3 as problem solving to deliver the standards step 4 and 5 want from us.

So 5s becomes a problem solving tool aligned to the business and not a clean up tool. Using 5s in this way also enables us to adapt it for service and link better into Total Productive Maintenance (TPM).

So 5s is not dead its just upside down.

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