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Shitsuke Sustain - Sustaining Phase

What good is 5s if you can not sustain the benefits? 5s must be sustained in order for it to be worth your time.

After establishing increased efficiency, order, cleanliness, and new standardizations through the first four steps, it is important to continue with the 5th "S", or the "sustain phase". This is the most difficult phase to implement successfully and requires discipline, but it is the most important. It is easy to gradually decline back into old familiar ways of doing things. Commitment to maintaining a focus on the new ways of operating, by sustaining the discipline that has been established, is the key to success.

When the workspace is filled with only necessary tools and materials, in a well organized and clean environment, and standard procedures are identified and followed, productivity increases, while expenses and waste decrease. The "sustaining phase" will include maintaining and reviewing 5s procedures to keep the facility uncluttered, organized, clean, efficient and safe each and every day, year after year.

When there are changes in equipment, products, or processes, standardizations need to be updated and proper education and training should be provided to affected workers. 5s labeling is an effective tool in educating employees and helping to maintain and sustain standardization procedures. When specific information needs to be communicated, custom labeling is the answer. Educated and well informed employees are better able to succeed in sustaining their 5s efforts.

Sustaining is not just about maintaining new ways, but also involves thinking about still better ways. When new ideas, new tools, and new procedures are implemented, updates and changes in associated 5s procedures and 5s labeling should be made as well. 5S is a "continuous improvement" program, so change is what this program is all about.

Many benefits come from implementing 5s programs into the workplace. In addition to the very basic benefit of a more pleasant workplace, there are significant financial benefits such as increased productivity, improved efficiency and lower costs, as well as safety benefits such as fewer accidents and reduced hazards. Successfully sustaining the 5s program also sustains each of those benefits.

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