Communicating 5S in the workplace

Did you know that up to 60% of the problems that occur in the workplace can be traced to problems related to organization? Communicating a clear, effective organizational strategy across your organization is at the heart of 5S, the Japanese method of “industrial housekeeping.”

 5S refers to five Japanese terms, each beginning with the letter “S”:

  • Seiri, meaning organization (sort)
  • Seiton, or tidiness (set in order)
  • Seiso, meaning purity (shine)
  • Seiketsu, which means cleanliness (standardize), and
  • Shitsuke, or discipline (sustain)

The 5S gold standard is to be able to find anything in your own office within 30 seconds, and in someone else’s office (or the stockroom) in five minutes.

As an Indianapolis commercial printer, HPG embraced the 5S philosophy over six years ago, and has seen dramatic results in increased print and project productivity, clearer communication, better on time projects, reduced product and energy waste, and enthused employees.

Here are some examples of the type of ‘business waste’ 5S can correct:

  • Handling order entry more than once.
  • Misunderstood or unclear goals.
  • Waiting for information, meetings, signatures, a returned phone call, a broken computer, etc.
  • Creating more efficient ways to handle a job.
  • Processes competing with each other.
  • Looking for electronic or paper files.
  • Lack of communication.
  • Printing out a report when only a summary will do.
  • Reduced meeting times.
  • Filing (95% of files that are stored are waste).
  • Inspecting (inspections reveal defects only after they have already occurred).

What could 5S do to improve communication, smooth processes and improve productivity in your office?