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Implement 5S for efficient business outcomes

5S is a methodology used initially to organize workplaces to be more efficient and streamlined thereby consistently striving for more outputs, lower costs and less waste. So in essence, as this is what Continuous Improvement is mostly about, 5S is one of the commonly used Continuous Improvement tools. 5S is widely believed to have originated or least initially widely used in Japan and the term 5S is derived from 5 Japanese words- seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke which loosely translated into English stand for: sort, simplify, shine, standardize and sustain. The principle activities taking place at each of the stages are: Sort - All unnecessary items, parts, files, supplies are removed from the area

Simplify – (or Set in Order) – A place is created for everything and everything is stored in its place

Shine – (Sweep) – Clean up the area

Standardize – Apply the same standard throughout (to other similar areas)

Sustain – Maintain the new standard and avoid slipping back to old habits

To know about practical recommendations to make 5S a key part of the Continuous Improvement machinery, regardless of the type of business visit:http://smallbizkaizen.com/index.php/2010/08/5s-business-benefit

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