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5S - A commitment to 5S

The final stage of 5S is the commitment to lean manufacturing, and everything we've worked on these last few months. First we looked at sort – and we cleaned up our areas and put away our bubble wrap. We then set things in order and made sure every packaging box had a place. We did away with clutter and applied Shine to the workplace. Finally, we set the standard of what needs to be done, and methods to control that. This final stage of 5S is as crucial as all previous stages, and without it, all other stages would be pointless. This 5S is Sustain, which ultimately helps establish your business for the future.

Sustain can be the most difficult 5S to implement. It requires a commitment to ongoing practice– essentially training for success. Committing yourself to 5S means to repeat the process, look for problems, identify solutions and keep improving.


There's a few ways to do this. At Signet, 5S is a part of the key performance indicators (KPIs), which means every member of the workplace has an understanding of the standards set, as well as the continuous improvement.


Tools to Sustain

Being the most difficult 5S to grapple with, Signet has decided to share a few tools that help all business sustain these practices:

  • Training: Don't leave it at a set of standards – train others to be aware, think 5S and share the responsibility.
  • Management Inspections: Having a routine inspection ensures that 5S is not lost among employees who may not see the value, or during busy months in the business.
  • Recognition: Praise for successful implementation is a great way to sustain practice. An award each month to the department or team that displayed this best goes a long way.
  • Create a culture: Give 5S meaning to everyone. If 5S is a regular part of daily work, then you have already achieved what Sustain aims for.




The results from the 5S have been tremendous for Signet. Despatch of packaging tape and mailing boxes amongst other things achieved a new standard. Production times and safety reports have been at a record high, as well as accuracy in our orders being unmatched. 5S has set a whole new standard of efficiency, and we hope you've learnt as much as we did going through this series.


Closing Thoughts

The biggest thing to remember is Sustain is not the end. 5S is ongoing, and as you sort, set, shine & standardise your business, remember there's always room for improvement. Keep track of your results, and reflect on them from time to time so you can watch your business efficiency grow.

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