Have you experienced wasting precious time looking for something? You know it’s there somewhere, you just can’t remember where exactly you have filed or kept it.

An organized home or workplace is key to productivity. Allow me to share a Japanese method of keeping their work area organized and tidy, 5S.

In a nutshell, 5S stands for 5 Japanese words as follows:

  1. Seiri (整理): Sorting. Refers to the practice of going through everything in the work area and keeping “only” the most important and essential items. The rest are either stored or discarded. This leads to fewer hazards and less clutter to interfere with productive work.
  2. Seiton (整頓): Simplifying. Focuses on the need for an orderly workplace. “Orderly” in this sense means arranging the files, fixtures, equipment and tools in an order that minimizes time wastage and promotes orderly work flow. This attempts to eliminate extra motion.
  3. Seisō (清掃): Sweeping, Systematic Cleaning, or Shining. Indicates the need to keep the workplace clean as well as neat.
  4. Seiketsu (清潔): Standardizing. This refers to standardized work process and practices.
  5. Shitsuke (躾): Sustaining. The first 4S will go to waste if the effort will not be sustained.

Sounds simple but the whole process needs determination and will power. In the workplace, before implementing this, support of top management should be sought, otherwise, the campaign will fail.

Based on my experience, the first S can be accomplished easily but entails 2-3 days of work. We normally do this before the Christmas/New Year vacations. Be prepared to have many boxes at your disposal and labels to distinguish files, items, tools, fixtures for scrapping, retention, and for active use.

The 2nd S calls for a little engineering, though we may not know it, an orderly filing system with corresponding label is already science. By placing what we needed the most near us and those that we seldom use a little farther in itself is engineering.

Speaking of labels, one company known for advocating digital printing is Frontier Label. They specialize on producing all types of and different use of labels. Since they have been in business since 2004, the company knew the peculiarity of digital printing vis-a-vis the requirements for a specific use.

While Frontier Label is known for her quality product and excellent customer support and assistance, they are known too for it’s corporate social responsibility. Yes they do help build someone else’s business, but  as they also grow and succeed, the people in the community benefits from them. The company donates 10% of it’s income to ministries that works on changing and building people’s lives.

Find time to check this thriving company, at least online. Experience the warmth of their customer support, check the different labels they have. You can even get a price quote online. Visit their home at www.frontierlabel.com

The 3rd S calls for discipline as it entails consistency.

The 4th S entails (industrial) engineering intervention and initiatives because this ensures work flow and processes will generate more output in a given time.

The last S calls for human resource or people management initiatives.

In a highly competitive environment that we live in, getting more out of the limited time we have is value adding.


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