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5S or good housekeeping involves the principle of waste elimination through workplace organization. 5S was derived from the Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. In English, they can be roughly translated as sort, set in order, clean, standardize, and sustain. The cornerstone of 5S is that untidy, cluttered work areas are not productive. As well as the physical implications of junk getting in everybody’s way and dirt compromising quality, we all are happier in a clean, tidy environment and hence more inclined to work hard with due care and attention. 5S and good housekeeping are core elements of lean thinking and a visual workplace and are a fundamental platform for world-class manufacturing.

5S provides the foundation for all quality improvement programs. It is a process to create more productive people and more productive companies through motivation, education, and practice. It involves the creation of a strong corporate culture with a productivity mindset.
See also: Kaizen; Toyota Production System; Lean Production System

Finance is the process of channeling funds in the form of invested capital, credits, or loans to individuals or entities. For example, consumers, business firms, and governments need funds for their expenditures, covering debts, providing investments, or completing transactions. People accumulate funds in the form of savings deposits, pensions, insurance claims, savings, or loan shares that become a source of investment funding. Finance connects these savings to those in need of funds for productive investments. In general, finance can be classified into three areas:

Public-sector finance: Financing at the government or public level is known as public-sector finance. Government meets its expenditures mainly through taxes, or if not it borrows money (i.e., public debt) to cover deficits.

Corporate or business finance: Corporate finance is about raising funds as well as allocating funds for increasing profit. A company or other business organization will try to optimize its goals (e.g., profit, sales) by estimating future asset requirements and allocating funds in accordance with availability.

Personal finance: Personal finance involves the optimization of finance at the individual level. If consumers are under budget constraints, they will borrow from banks or others to meet their needs.

Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese quality control statistician, invented the fishbone diagram. It is often also referred to as the Ishikawa diagram. The fishbone diagram is an analysis tool that provides a systematic way of looking at effects and the causes that create or contribute to those effects. Because of the function of the fishbone diagram, it may be referred to as a cause-and-effect diagram. The design of the diagram looks much like the skeleton of a fish. A cause-and-effect diagram can help identify the reasons why a process goes out of control. Often the fishbone diagram can be used to summarize the results of a brainstorming session, identifying the causes of a specified undesirable outcome. It helps to identify root causes and ensures a common understanding of them.

Cause-and-effect relationships govern everything and are the path to effective problem solving. By identifying causes, we can find some that are within our control and then change or modify them to meet our goals and objectives. By understanding the nature of the cause-and-effect principle, we can draw a diagram to help us solve everyday problems every time. Below is an example of use of an Ishikawa diagram to solve a difficulty in locating a drawing.

See also: Brainstorming

A flow chart is one of the seven basic tools of quality control, which include the histogram, Pareto chart, check sheet, control chart, cause-and-effect diagram, and scatter diagram. A flow chart is a graphic method of representing activities or decision processes and illustrating how all the steps in a process link together to enable work. By definition, a flow chart presents the sequence of activities as well as the function of the activities, e.g., information collection, analysis, operation, decisionmaking, etc. A flow chart allows all relevant processes to be consolidated, along with the identification of gaps, duplication, and dead ends. It facilitates process simplification. As very large process diagrams are hard to validate and control, they can be split into smaller levels. Care must be taken to keep elements of the chart at the same level of detail (see accompanying figure).


Flow charts are a useful standardized communication tool. They are commonly used as visual aids tied to work instructions and other on-the-floor documents. They are very flexible and easy to use as an input into a project or as a visual depiction of the project itself.

The food chain approach is a holistic method to ensure food safety along the entire food chain. This approach requires all actors in the food chain to recognize that primary responsibility lies with all those who produce, process, and trade in food. It covers the food chain from field (primary production) to fork (final consumption). Those responsible include farmers/producers, fishers, slaughterhouse operators, food processors, transport operators, and distributors (wholesale and retail). In this approach, the relevant information regarding the safety of food should be provided to the next party in the food chain.

The food chain approach differs from the traditional model where the responsibility for safety tended to concentrate mainly on the food-processing sector. This approach is meant to ensure the production and supply of safe food products.


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