The 20 Keys 4S process (Sort, Set in Order, Shine and Standardise) is a simple process which can deliver significant results.
1. Sort (Seiri)
Identify and get rid of all obsolete items (i.e., anything not used for months or during the last 12 months).
2. Set in Order (Seiton)
Now that all unnecessary items are removed, organise that which remains.
3. Shine (Seiso)
Once everything is organised, clean up.
4. Standardise (Seiketsu)
Maintain cleanliness and orderliness through writing simple procedures so that unacceptable situations will not reoccur.
The benefit of each of the activities is probably as important as the goal of the physical exercise itself.
Some of these benefits are:
- It gives first-line employees the opportunity to have a say in what happens in their work area
- It provides employees with a chance to study problems and to suggest solutions in a structured way – thereby energising the workplace
- Employees learn a very simple, but practical and effective problem solving technique, called the 5 Whys. It is used for identifying root causes and can be used in different situations.
- Employees learn that procedures are there to ensure that bad / poor situations never occur again
- It puts fun into the workplace when doing something other than the normal daily tasks, especially if competition between teams starts developing
- Employees learn the value of teamwork between teams or shifts. Identify and get rid of all obsolete and unneeded items (including items which do not belong to the area).
Many people know the process as the 5S process. In the 20 Keys System, Key 15 – Workplace discipline, fulfills the role of the 5th S – Self-discipline – Make a habit of ‘clean and organise as you go’, and properly maintain procedures and schedules.
During their continuous improvement journey, Wispeco Aluminium learners discussed the 4S Process with ODI’s MD: Huibie Jones.
Wispeco benchmarks their Key 15 principles on a regular basis and this is evident in their implementation of the 4S process.
To read more about the 5S Method for efficient workplaces, click here.