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Gemba Kaizen and 5s


Q. I'm a student of university, and now I'm doing my final paper. I really interested in kaizen and 5s I want to ask about what the relation between gemba kaizen and 5s. Thank you for answering and I'm sorry for my English

Tri Rahayu K [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Surabaya, Indonesia

Gemba Kaizen
from Abe Books



A. A term commonly used in Japan is gemba kaizen. It is an expression that conveys commitment to continuous improvement of practices and processes as a business philosophy. Translated to English "gemba" means shopfloor and "kaizen" means continuous improvement. This certificate prepares students/workers to actively participate in implementing ongoing, world-class manufacturing activities necessary to keep their company globally competitive now and into the future.

The term "gemba" was introduced to Westerners by Masaaki Imai in 1997 to describe the "real place" where products are developed and made, and where services are provided. Small kaizen enhancements to these key operations will multiply into greater success and profits many times over. One of the more attractive features of gemba kaizen as a management philosophy is its independence from technology, complex procedures, or equipment, because gemba kaizen techniques focus on techniques like total quality management, just-in-time, total product maintenance, and visual management to deliver maximum quality. For some companies, gemba kaizen has become a leading philosophy for implementing "lean thinking" into their processes and products. The result has been elimination of waste (in terms of materials, effort, money, time, etc.) and an improvement in fiscal performance. Not surprisingly, gemba kaizen's approaches to eliminating waste are also one of the easiest and least costly steps to take in improving environmental performance.

The concept of gemba management has its own "golden rules", and the first rule is: when a problem arises, go to gemba first. Much of what occurs in gemba can be passed off as routine, repetitive, and even boring work tasks, but it's amazing how often we tend to overlook the importance of understanding the processes in gemba to financial and environmental performance. To take the concept of gemba performance to its ultimate level of simplicity, gemba kaizen offers the "5S" steps of good housekeeping:

Seire: Distinguish between necessary and unnecessary items in gemba and discard the latter.
Seiton: Arrange all items remaining after seiri in an orderly manner.
Seiso: Keep machines and working environments clean.
Seiketsu: Extend the concept of cleanliness to oneself and continuously practice the above three steps. Shitsuke: Build self-discipline and make a habit of engaging in the 5S by establishing standards.

Western companies typically modify the above approach into the following 5S:
Sort: separate out all that is unnecessary and eliminate it.
Straighten: Put essential things in order so that they can be easily accessed.
Scrub: Clean everything -- tools and workplaces -- removing stains, spots, and debris and eradicating sources of dirt.
Systematize: Make cleaning and checking routine.
Standardize: Standardize the previous four steps to make the process one that never ends and can be improved upon.

If you've been pondering what steps to take to improve environmental, health, and safety performance as operating budgets continue to tighten, go to gemba.

Kartikey B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- India

"5S for Operators"
by Hiroyuki Hirano

from Abe Books
info on Amazon


A. I think you will find that 'Gemba' was introduced to westerners long before 1997, in the UK we have had Japanese manufacturers for more than 20 years. Things like Gemba kanry and Gemba Kaizen were implemented in the UK as soon as the factories were set up.

Phil R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Newcastle, UK


Q. I have heard about Six S in reference of 5s. Is this Sukam (Habit)? Please arrange to send the related information,

VIVEK S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]

May 20, 2008

Q. I want the simple audit format which the worker can do for 5-s & also easy to understand.

bhavesh bhavsar
engg - baroda , gujarat , India

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