5S in Malaysia

I had an opportunity to visit Malaysia for the first time as a Katu Consultant. It was a Malaysia entity organization which headquarter is located in Germany. They have been applying 5S by learning from their German headquarter or Japan entity and then they would like to learn directly from 5S specialist in Japan and were seeking for a lecturer and found me from Katu Consultant homepage (I’m so honored!).

In Malaysia, Malay, China and India ethic co-exist and they speak mother tongue with the same ethic people, but English is being used as a common language. It’s embarrassing to say but I can’t speak English so I performed workshop with interpreter.

Below is my report of 3 day 5S Excellence workshop.


It was kicked off with opening ceremony on the first day. Mr. L, 5S project leader showed the DVD of Japan cleaning team “TESSEI” who completes cleaning inside compartments of bullet train within 7 minutes and stressed the importance of learning 5S, followed by the welcome speech by president in Malaysia.

I addressed below during my introduction:

“5S won’t work by deciding rule and forcing staff obey it. Taking an example of one factory, it was very clean during the 5S presentation. However, staff told that storage placement was decided by project team without their agreement and do not want to follow it. It is the best to decide rule by Kaizen activities by every staff involvement. Rules will be followed if it is decided by everyone. Also, the process of this activities will dramatically change the attitude and thinking faculty of workplace, and this will influence quality and efficiency tremendously. I also would like to try 5S Kaizen activities which is based in small group activities with every staff involvement in Malaysia. Let’s create advanced and unique 5S activities with everybody’s idea.


Fab 5S Audit took place after opening ceremony. Workplace was amazing with the latest technology. Also, it was very clean by well-designed entry to clean room and well-equipped considering to keep cleanliness. Also, I could feel that operators are well trained by looking at their calm, careful and faithful working attitude.

On the other hand, I could feel the improvement opportunities such as sorting/keeping parts and tools, re-considering where/how to place items, labelling for operator friendly at maintenance team,and more efficient lay-out to reduce staff’s time to carry and walk.


On the second day, I performed 5S Refresher Training to the project members.
It explained with the photos which were taken on the first day, so it was very clear to understand.

I found it very interesting to see 5S definition of this organization (left table).
English is logic language and I feel easier to understand than definitions in Japan.

Many staff were especially sympathized with the words” One work, one clean” and “More beautiful (cleaner) than when it came” and they were talking about it during the 3rd day presentation besides technical methods.
When I explained about the principle of layout, manager who is in charge of layout was called to join the session even it was not planned, and I could feel their strong willingness to make the best use of it.
On the third day, project team did presentation of Kaizen Plan for each module. Most of them told that they would like to challenge bottom-up style 5S by small group activity (SGA) and 5S project leader, Mr. L also announced that KPI would include SGA induction.
I thought that was revolution at factories outside Japan.

I look forward for higher develop of this organization as there are a lot of highly skilled staff.