The 5S Program

The 5S program is a technique originated in Japan and was introduced by Takashi Osada in 1980. 5S is consist of five phases from Japanese words: Seiri (sort), Seiton (set in order), Seiso (shine), Seiketso (standardize) and Shitsuke (sustain). 5S is a step by step process of housekeeping to achieve a safe, clean and organized environment in the work area involving all employees in the organization with a commitment to sincerely implement and practice housekeeping. When the workplace is untidy and unorganized, the problems and abnormalities in the area cannot be identified easily. Through removing unnecessary items, organizing and cleaning the work area will help the team to expose the existing abnormalities. The first step of 5S improvement is by making the problems and troubles visible. If 5S activity is not taken seriously, this may leads to accident, quality problems or defects, loss, waste, low morale of employees and customers dissatisfaction.

The primary goal of 5S is to remove unnecessary and unneeded items in the work area and .eliminate wasteful and redundant process. However some employees see 5S as additional job instead of part of their daily job. The implementation may be negatively perceived by some employees which in turn can manifest in a lack of employees commitment to sustain the activities. What makes 5S difficult to continue and maintain is the last S (Shitsuke) which means discipline and in the process adheres sustenance.

The competition in the global market is increasing and many manufacturing companies are looking forward to improve their operations and make them more efficient. Thus, 5S methodology is attractive to companies which have older production sites and are trying to improve their efficiency and reduce costs.

Currently, it is increasingly recognized that 5S management techniques enhance productivity and competitiveness, in order to become a World Class Manufacturing company. Many manufacturing companies make some early 5S improvements and then slide back into their old ways of doing things. Other organizations continue to maintain their 5S programs for many years but some are not. Some companies have unsuccessful implementation of 5S mainly due to incomplete implementation of the fifth S which stands for sustain;. But if implemented completely, a 5S program will have longevity and reap the reward in the near future.

The design and implementation of the 5S program in the selected electronic manufacturing in Laguna under study is not the issue to be analyzed in this research. There are many improvement activities and standards implemented in the company from different Small Group Activity Teams or SGA circles. Some of these are visual tools like signs, labels, and information boards to remind employees of their 5S responsibilities. However, no matter how successful is the implementation of the first four steps in the company, all these improvements gains will be lost and 5S may lead to failure without the 5th S (discipline) or the commitment to sustain from both employees and the top management. Furthermore, there is also lack of knowledge and skills in some improve methods and standards and the challenge is much greater.

To sustain the program, A 5S audit practice was designed which enabled each Small group activity team leader per area to identify the abnormalities and potential level of quality improvement and at the same time analyze the ability and weakness of each work area per Department.

In order for the 5S system to be more successful, we need to identify the critical factors to sustain 5S in the organization. This study focuses on the factors influencing 5S sustainability of electronic manufacturing company in Laguna as basis for organizational effectiveness and continuous improvement as a key tool to improve the workplace and eliminate business problems before it ever happens by eliminating waste and non-value added items, improving quality and delivery while production lead time and costs are reduced.

Objectives of the Study:

This study describes effectiveness and sustainability of 5S in electronic manufacturing company in Laguna. More specifically, it present the profile of the employees in terms of gender, age, civil status, highest educational attainment, Department, employment status, job position, and no. of years in Electronic Manufacturing Company in Laguna; determine the effectiveness and sustainability of 5s; assess the level of commitment to 5S; determine the factors why 5S failed in the area; and test the significant differences of effectiveness, sustainability and commitment of 5S implementation when grouped according to profile; and propose an enhancement program in electronic manufacturing company to further boost 5S and its sustainability.

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