If an individual took a checklist with them and investigated all the different "versions" of the 5S's out there we would have about 10 or 20 different S's. In my experience I've seen different words used in the place of the "original" 4S approach (american culture added the 5th S by the way) established years ago in Japan. The "version" I like to use comes from the original TPS Handbook created by Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC).
I think if a company understands the intent behind 5S then the words chosen to represent the meaning are merely a guide to explain the process or tool. What I find is that companies will implement 5S but very few people really understand WHAT it is and WHY its an important step in Lean Implementation and TPS. (See previous blog posts explaining the WHAT and WHY.)
So what is 5S and Standardization have to do with one another?
5S supports Toyota concept of "abnormality management" by applying visual techniques (visualization) and controls that enable a team member to immediately recognize the standard and any deviation from it. We can also call this Problem Identification, which is the first step in Problem Solving. The 5S condition on the shop floor or in the office can effect our ability to manage those 4 Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) -- Quality, Safety, Productivity, and Cost.
Here is a helpful guide below to determine the different levels of knowledge when it comes to 5S "thinking".
Where is your understanding as a company or an individual in regard to 5S?
Take a look at this: (OJD=On the Job Development)
If a company is really trying to change their culture in regard to Lean and using TPS tools then 5S can be a way to develop team members as shown above.
So what are those S's.....let's take a look below:
Remember 5S is a "visualization and standardization" tool that used to implement Lean (TPS). It can also be used as a development tool for leadership as well as team members across all levels of the company. So the next time someone asks about 5S just know its more than the "flavor of the month".
Til next time