"Our division has successfully utilised the services of Performance Drivers on a number of occasions. Performance Drivers was able to provide a project team to review, cross-check, document and "clean up" the asset register ...."
Projects Director, Transport


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What is 5S? - The 5S Philosophy

5S was the brainchild of Hiroyuki Hirano, a Japanese JIT engineer. 5S is not just about having a clean factory or office. The real benefits of 5S are a flow on from the cleanliness, they are:

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Improved Safety, Costs, Work environment, Quality and Productivity  

Most BPI professionals can walk into a facility and in a matter of minutes make a reasonable judgment about the degree of efficiency with which it can produce quality products or outputs. This judgment is derived primarily from observation of the cleanliness or the clutter of the plant or office. After all, if a company cannot successfully conduct housekeeping activities its customers might reasonably assume that it would struggle to deliver even mildly complex products or results on time

Have a look around your work area. How would you feel as a customer looking at what you are looking at now and expecting quality output?

The 5S’s are from 5 Japanese words roughly translated into English to mean:

Seire -Sort: Clearing the work area

Any work area should only have the items needed to perform the work in the area at that time. All other items should be cleared (sorted out) from the work area. Any item in doubt should be red tagged. A red tag means someone must justify why this item should stay there. If an item has not been used for 48 hrs, then it shouldn’t be there. Get rid of Clutter.

Seiton - Set:

Designating locations Everything in the work area should have a place and everything should be in its place. Use of peg boards (Visible to all). If you can’t find an item in 30 seconds or less and return it to a peg board in 5 seconds or less, then you have a problem. We shouldn’t waste time looking for things.

Seiso - Shine:

Cleanliness & workplace appearance Not only should the work area be clear, it should also be clean. Cleanliness involves housekeeping efforts, improving the appearance of the work area, and even more importantly, preventive housekeeping keeping the work area from getting dirty, rather than just cleaning it up after it becomes dirty. i.e. find out where the dirt is coming from, then try to prevent it at its source. (dirt can also mean useless information, emails and timewasters)

Seiketsu - Standardise:

Everyone doing things the same way Everyone in the work area and in the organisation must be involved in the 5S effort, creating best practices and then getting everyone to ‘copy’ those best practices the same way, everywhere, and every time. Work area layouts and storage techniques should be standardised wherever possible.

The team needs to develop standards, and see that 5S job responsibilities are integrated into the general routine.

Shitsuke - Sustain:

Ingraining the 5S’s into the culture It’s tough to keep a 5S effort, or any improvement effort for that matter, going. The 5S’s involve a culture change. To achieve a culture change, it has to be ingrained into the organisation - by everyone at all levels in the organisation.

5S is not brain surgery, it isn’t hard, it’s just a different mindset. With just a little initial effort it will become easier, and more pleasant to work in a clean and tidy environment than a messy one.

All it takes is teamwork and a little bit more pride in our work area.


Contact Performance Drivers for for more information on utilising the 5S Philosophy on 61 2 9683 6200 or email admin@performancedrivers.com.au.