The 5S methodology / philosophy as such is around and fairly widespread since the mid-1980s, when the western industries sought the “secrets” of their Japanese competitors’ tremendous successes.
>Don’t know yet about 5S? Check my quick beginner’s guide to 5S
However, despite the 30 years of awareness and trials:
- very few companies I visited have achieved a good level of 5S maturity with sustainable results. Most of them abandoned and slipped back after a while
- my French 5S handbook (2nd edition) keeps selling well over the years (first edition: 2005)
- young engineers keep asking for my advice as they are in charge of deploying 5S during their internship
So the seemingly mundane 5S deployment turns out a harder nut to crack.
What can possibly go wrong with the alleged simplest method of the lean toolbox?
In the posts series “why 5S fail”, I’ll share some of the reasons I identified, out of my experience:
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