Paths for freedom and progress
Five S and five Zeros
NOTICE ARCHIVE - 01/06/2020

Japanese efficiency and quality are well known over the World. What´s behind it?

The ability of organization and teamwork has been built up in Japan under Millenials, woven by a complex history and fascinating culture. The “Toyotism”, an industrial concept introduced by engineer Taiichi Ohno in Toyota car factory can explain something of the development from the past. For the one interested in industrial management, the Toyotism is a management system often compared with Taylorism and Fordism.

The five S are based on 5 words from the Japanese language, all starting with a letter sounding like the S illustrated by the Latin character “S”. They are: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke and from the interpretation made by Fundação Christiano Ottoni in the -80´s, they conclude:


·         SEIRI is a sense of utility: Separate the useful from the useless, eliminating the unnecessary.

·         SEITON – is a sense of organization: Identify and arrange everything, so that anyone can easily find it.

·         SEISO – is a sense of cleaning: Always maintain a clean environment, eliminating the causes of dirt, and learn how to not make dirt.

·         SEIKETSU – is a sense of health and hygiene: maintain an environment in work, in-home and in public that is always favorable to health and hygiene”.

·         SHITSUKE – Self-discipline sense: Make these attitudes, that is, methodology, a habit, transforming 5s’s into a way of life.


The five “S” show basic behavior to adopt, leading to more efficiency. The five ZEROS show what to avoid,

·         Zero stock – through strict control of materials supply and flexibility in production changes, with reduced use of stocks of products in the process of manufacture and finished products.

·         Zero defects – practicing strong investment in training people in all sectors of the company; high product quality; use of sophisticated technology to eliminate human errors as much as possible.

·         Zero damage – implies ongoing training of producers and maintenance staff, as well as a plan and strategies for maintaining equipment and preparations for any disturbing event.

·         Zero delays – mobility on altering manufacturing programs, with a reduction in the rejection rate and the damage rate which, together, reduces delivery times.

·         Zero paper – elimination of bureaucratic circuits through the use of information and communication technologies



However, enhancing the general sense of CONFIDENCE is the key to all of these rules of S and ZERO, that is what any society or entrepreneur should strive for.

Finally, Ohno is also known for the “Seven wastes”:


·         Delay, waiting or time spent in a queue with no value being added

·         Producing more than you need

·         Overprocessing or undertaking non-value added activity

·         Transportation

·         Unnecessary movement or motion

·         Inventory

·         Defects in the Product.


This is applied ins some industries, but works smoothly only in a few, as it requires sacrifices from all involved parts. Can a society apply something like this? To be able to implant a public system according to these severe rules, it might be managed with rigorous rules and constant attention on controls. Such system, managed over a mainstream society will only be possible under hardline government, generating trouble, discontent, and bureaucracy. However, managed by a consolidated team of leaders, acting with a common goal, with total confidence between all involved parts, in a socially matured group, unified by culture, where the integrants naturally from childhood have adopted accountability, responsibility and cooperation, wisdom like the “seven wastes” will float naturally.

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Views: 200427 - Atualizado: 18-09-2021