5S Programme helps R&HA to keep it lean

R&HA has been working hard over the past twelve months to implement a revised 5S programme to create a leaner working environment.

5S was developed in Japan in 1988. It is a system for organising workspaces so production can be carried out more efficiently, effectively and safely. It focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean and decluttered, making it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury.

It is built around five core phases, each based on a Japanese word. They are:

  • Seiri (Sorting) – Getting rid of any unnecessary tools and equipment items from the work area.
  • Seiton (Setting in order) – Configuring work areas for maximum efficiency. Tools and equipment are organised to promote optimum workflow with minimal movement.
  • Seiso (Sweeping) – Maintaining a clean and tidy workspace and machinery, with tools and equipment returned to their designated locations at the end of every shift.
  • Seiketsu (Standardising) – Creating consistent, uniform working practices detailing what needs doing, when and where it must be done and by whom.
  • Shitsuke (Sustaining) – Maintaining a strong focus on 5S, through regular audits and getting staff involvement and commitment at every level.


The Toyota Motor Company was one of the early pioneers of 5S, which aims to increase the value of products or services for customers by finding and eliminating waste from production processes. It has since been adopted by many manufacturers of all sizes. By having a systematically organised facility, a company increases the likelihood that production will occur exactly as it should.

Having a workplace in a clean, organised state makes it easy to achieve consistently good results, whereas a messy, cluttered space can lead to mistakes, slowdowns in production, and even workplace accidents.

Jimmy Hamilton, R&HA’s Business Strategy Director, said:

“5S is in common use by many of our customers in the automotive logistics sector.

“Implementing our new programme will not only help us to become more lean, efficient and effective, but also bring us into line with many of our customers, so we can better meet their ever-evolving requirements and expectations.”


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