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5S team - responsibilities and duties of team members

The implementation of the 5S method requires the establishment of a 5S team to develop standards, develop the system and monitor it.

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When preparing to implement the 5S system in an organization, an important thing to think about at the very beginning is creating a proper 5S structure. This involves the establishment of a team whose purpose is to implement and maintain the 5S system in the company. The most common composition of a 5S team is: 5S system coordinator, 5S auditor, 5S area coordinator.

Separation of areas

Implementation of the 5S system should begin by dividing the entire company into smaller areas. Each of the separated areas must have its own coordinator. The question arises – is it not too much bureaucracy and artificial creation of additional functions? Definitely not. Appropriate division of the organization into smaller areas with the allocation of responsibility is an important element of the effective implementation of the 5S system.

The task of area coordinators is to support 5S actions carried out in specific areas. Of course, in this way they contribute to the development of 5S in the entire company. How? By promoting the idea of 5S in their areas – production lines, warehouses, offices, departments. Whereas 5S Coordinator is responsible for spreading the idea of well-organized and safe work places in the whole organization. And the task of the 5S Auditor is to control and objectively assess the functioning of the 5S system.

5S coordinator – duties and responsibilities

The 5S Coordinator has many responsibilities. These are primarily:

  • Planning and overseeing the implementation of the system in all areas covered by the program.
  • Organizing and conducting training for employees.
  • Being responsible for liaison between management and employees.
  • Creating and updating the standards book.
  • Overseeing the conduct of 5S audits and resolving disputes between the 5S auditor and the Area Coordinator.
  • Reporting to management on the implementation, operation and improvement of 5S in the organization.

5S auditor – duties and tasks

The main responsibilities of the 5S Auditor can include:

  • Controlling the functioning of the system and compliance with standards in specific areas.
  • Collecting information about the occurring non-conformities and hazards in areas of work and identify opportunities for improvement.

5S auditor can act as an intermediary between the coordinator of the 5S system and 5S area coordinator.

5S area coordinator – duties and responsibilities

Area coordinator should be a person closely associated with the area, be it production, warehouse, workshop or office. Each area must have its own representative – leader, who will be the voice of the team. His task will be mainly:

  • Making sure that the set standards for the area are followed.
  • Motivating and inspiring colleagues to act and improve their workplaces.
  • Participating in 5S audits and post-audit meetings.
  • Attending workshops and pilot implementations in their area.

When establishing an area coordinator, it is important to remember that it is not enough just to select the person. Thorough training should be provided. Training should include not only the 5S methodology, but also the part devoted to “soft” issues and effective legal communication with the team. Only then you can count on full understanding, support and commitment from the 5S area coordinator.

Involvement of the 5S area coordinator at the initial stage of system implementation

Participate in trainings and workshops conducted in pilot areas.

Ideally, from the initial phase of implementation, potential candidates for Area Coordinators, together with the 5S Coordinators, should participate in training and workshops conducted in pilot areas. This way Area Coordinators will be able to thoroughly learn the 5S principles. Already at the very beginning, during the development of standards, they can present their opinion on their application in the area. Because who knows their process and area better than its user – right?

Attendance at 5S audits

A good area coordinator will also be willing to participate in audits. Detected inconsistencies will not then be the basis for pointing out errors and blaming colleagues. They will be a starting point for further improvement actions in their own area (and not only). Speaking of improvement, a common mistake made by area coordinators is competition in setting new standards and implementing them in their areas on their own. This is a mistake. Remember that the standard is meant to be global – one for the entire organization. Any changes and improvements are of course welcome. But it is the area coordinator who is the person responsible for reporting such an idea that has been passed on to him by his colleagues. The 5S Coordinator decides on the validity of the standards throughout the organization.

Young man takes part in 5S audit holding 5S form in hand

Participation in post-audit meetings

The coordinator, as mentioned earlier, is the transmitter of information. He is the one who is closest to the place where added value is created and can react fastest and inform about problems and ideas. These arise during daily work and not only on the occasion of 5S audits. The area coordinator is the person who will be perfect to support the audit, answer the 5S auditor’s questions and explain possible discrepancies, as well as present the team’s achievements. However, when necessary, the area coordinator will mobilize co-workers to action and clarify their doubts. His task is also to help in understanding the 5S rules and reacting appropriately when they are not followed.

In summary, the 5S area coordinator is a very important member of the 5S team and also an essential part of the 5S implementation. He plays a key role in this system. It depends on him how the employees of a particular area will perceive the 5S system – whether as imposed cleaning and constant control, or perhaps as an effective method that can be used as a team to facilitate their work.

Defining the 5S structure and assigning appropriate roles in this system (establishing the 5S team) is a factor that largely influences the success of the venture, which is the implementation of the 5S system.

Link to the product:

The 5S Method

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