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Saab Seaeye's Small Assembly Department First with 5S

28 February 2013

Marking the successful introduction of the internationally renown 5S manufacturing system into the company, Saab Seaeye’s Small Assembly Department becomes the first to win the accolade of top department.

The 5S system is adopted by leading organisations the world over as a proven way of improving manufacturing efficiency.

It is the first building block of lean manufacturing and was conceived in Japan by Hiroyuki Hirano, and introduced to Toyota with great success, and is now adopted around the globe.

The 5S’s denote: sorting, setting in order, shining, standardising and sustaining.

Adopting the system is found to quickly bring efficiency, improved quality and speedier delivery to an organisation and its customers.

"The effect can clearly be seen,” says Operations Director, Mark Exeter, observing that the transformation is particularly evident to anyone visiting the company. "Customers like what they see and appreciate the benefits it brings in terms of quality and delivery.”

Maintaining the momentum of the commitment is important to its success.

"Training and auditing keep the momentum going,” explains Mark Exeter, "whilst scoring and league tables introduce friendly rivalry and fun.” Adding that the concept works best when habit-forming.

Staff involvement is the key to success according to Hiroyuki Hirano who suggests that employees must feel valued by the company for the system to work.

The 5S Champions League winners for the first year, the Small Assembly Team, who achieved the highest score across company, get to hold the Champions League Cup for the year with each team member awarded an engraved medal along with a meal out together.