Organization, discipline, cleanliness: 5S reformulates work culture at Total Express - Total Express (en)

Organization, discipline, cleanliness: 5S reformulates work culture at Total Express

Mar 08, 2021

Organization, discipline, cleanliness: 5S reformulates work culture at Total Express

Japanese concept has been guiding new practices in the workplace


Do you know what 5S means? It is a concept developed in Japan, which, destroyed after the Second World War, needed a consistent organizational and corporate culture to guide and direct the economic recovery of what is now one of the greatest powers in the world.

5S is the acronym of five Japanese words. Seiri is a sense of use; seiton is a sense of organization; seiso is a sense of cleanliness; seiketsu is a sense of standardization; and shitsuke is a sense of discipline. This corporate culture has developed in such a way that it became synonymous with the quality management program all over the world and reached the universe of Brazilian companies in the 1990s, bringing standardization, discipline and organization as values. 

At Total Express, a private company with the most complete logistics portfolio in the country, 5S has been successfully implemented (and supported by the management) by a multidisciplinary team headed by the Project, Processes and Quality Manager, Juliana Schneider, and supported by the Human Resources Department.

At first, this new organizational culture brought a novelty to the company right from the start: the open office, that is, the understanding of the office as an open space where all professionals are available to the others, and where desks are shared, without bays and with material only strictly necessary to work. 

In a few months 5S built a case to call its own within the company: thanks to the new quality management, it was possible to reformulate and reorganize the whole operational logistics area of Total Express, improving the work ecosystem after a series of training courses and new practices instilled in the work culture of each employee. The sorting and shipping areas were completely transformed into cleaner and more organized spaces, and some daily practices became more rational and intelligent

“Unlike what many people think, 5S is not about cleanliness. It’s about a culture of good practices. It has to be a culture within everyone’s routine,” explains Cristiane Torres Duarte, from the Quality and Processes area.

“It is necessary to change the culture so that people get annoyed when things are out of standard and disorganized,” continues Cristiane. As for the culture change, she guarantees that Total Express employees are already much more receptive to the management program. “In the beginning, some found it strange. Today, I already have managers who come to us to give us advice on how to improve their work routine. It is gratifying”.

The managers of each area do a weekly follow-up of the implementation of the 5S practices, and a biweekly follow-up with the Continuous Improvement team, from the Process Quality Department. 

The idea is to expand the 5S program to other Total Express branches and strengthen a program that started on the right foot and in a short time has already left an indelible mark: the culture changes towards a more organized and disciplined work environment, where everyone wins and productivity increases.


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