Sri Lanka’s Employees Trust Fund (ETF) Board was the first government organization to introduce 5S, a Japanese technique aimed at improving productivity in a systematic manner in five comprehensive steps. The concept has now developed from a very simplistic method to a very complex one and is closely linked with Lean management. The 5S technique was introduced under the stewardship of Sunil Wijesinha who was Chairman of the ETF from 1990 to 1994 and who recently addressed a two day international seminar on 5S and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), organized by the ABK – AOTS Alumni Society of Tamil Nadu.
A press release on the seminar stated that Mr. Wijesinha left the ETF and started his own consultancy firm and has introduced the concept to many companies including MAS Group of companies which has won many 5S awards. Today, 5S is widely practiced in many manufacturing companies and is an integral part of the productivity programme of government offices. Mr. Wijesinha was the first to conduct seminars on 5S in the country, the first held in 1994, propelling 5S as the most popular management technique in a short period of time.
At the seminar, Mr. Wijesinha spoke on productivity improvement in the public sector in Sri Lanka. The press release stated that the seminar was attended by participants from the region and was financially assisted by the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS) of Japan which has sponsored over 60 alumni societies in 40 countries.