Proposition of Framework for Quality Working Environment Based on Sustainable Design in Small Manufacturing Enterprises



Quality improvements are implemented through various systems, techniques and tools in a company. The implementation of quality initiatives are commonplace in large companies rather than the smaller ones. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are usually constrained by their size, expertise and financial resources. Nevertheless, it is important for them to improve their quality of physical work setting and working environment to sustain a competitive advantage. 5S is one of the most widely adopted techniques for industrial housekeeping and, in improving the quality of workplace environment. Since the cost of the development and implementation is one of the main constraints for 5S program at workplace in SMEs, the sustainable design concept shall be adopted. As the main part of the research work, a conceptual model of continuous improvement initiative for quality working environment within small and medium-sized manufacturing companies was developed and proposed. The focus of this research study is on the aspect of how to implement the 5S practices by incorporating sustainable design for improving a quality workplace environment and reducing the environmental impacts through a comprehensive approach. Finally, conclusions are drawn and suggestions made for further research in SME companies.




Ran Chen




J. Rahim and M. N. A. Rahman, "Proposition of Framework for Quality Working Environment Based on Sustainable Design in Small Manufacturing Enterprises", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vols. 44-47, pp. 227-231, 2011


December 2010




[1] A. Tiwari, C. Turner and P. Sackett, A Framework for Implementing Cost and Quality Practices within Manufacturing. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 8, No. 6 (2007), pp.731-760.


[2] The Quality Environment (5S) Certification Guide on www. mpc. gov. my.

[3] N.T. Putri and S.M. Yusof, Critical Success Factors for Implementing Quality Engineering Tools and Techniques in Malaysian's and Indonesian's Automotive Industries: An Exploratory Study. Proceedings of the International Multi-Conference of Engineers and Computer Scientists (IMECS), Hong Kong (2009).

[4] S.M. Yusof and E. Aspinwall, Case Studies on the Implementation of TQM in the UK Automotive SMEs. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 18, No. 7 (2001), pp.722-743.


[5] M.D. Moreno-Luzon, Can TQM Make Small Firms Competitive? Total Quality Management, Vol. 4, No. 2 (1993), pp.165-181.

[6] G.L. Lee and I. Oakes, The Pros and Cons of TQM of Small Firms in Manufacturing: Some Experiences down the Supply-chain. Total Quality Management, Vol. 6, No. 4 (1995), pp.413-426.


[7] SMI Productivity Report 2009 on www. mpc. gov. my.

[8] T. Osada, The 5S: Five Keys to a TQM. Tokyo: Asian Productivity Organization (1991).

[9] M. O'hEocha, A Study of the Influence of Culture, Communication, and Employee Attitudes on the Use of 5Ss for Environmental Management at Cooke Brothers Ltd. The TQM Magazine, Vol. 12, No. 5 (2000), pp.321-330.


[10] R. Gapp, R. Fisher and K. Kobayashi, Implementing 5S within a Japanese Context: An Integrated Management System. Management Decision, Vol. 46, No. 4 (2008), pp.565-579.


[11] V.K. Khanna, 5S and TQM Status in Indian Organizations. The TQM Journal, Vol. 21, No. 5 (2009), pp.486-501.


[12] C.J. Bamber, J.M. Sharp and M.T. Hides, Development Management System towards Integrated Manufacturing: A Case Study Perspective. Integrated Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 11, No. 7 (2000), pp.454-461.


[13] A.F. Mohamed, M.R. Taha, S. Idrus, A.S. Hadi and A.H. Harman Shah, Infrastructure for Sustainable Industrial Wastes Recovery in Malaysia. Blueprints for Sustainable Infrastructure Conference: Auckland, New Zealand (2008).

[14] Protecting the Environment Leading for Consumers on www. environmentalleader. com.

[15] J.F. McLennan, The Philosophy of Sustainable Design, Ecotone: Kansas City (2004).

[16] S.K.M. Ho, S. Cicmil and C.K. Fung, Japanese 5S Practice and TQM Training. Training for Quality, Vol. 3, No. 4 (1995), pp.19-24.


[17] L. Mann, J. Walther and D. Radcliffe, Sustainable Design Practitioners: Why They Must Be at the Center of Discussions on Sustainable Design Education. Proceedings of the 2005 ASEE 4th Global Colloquium on Engineering Education, Australasian Association for Engineering Education (2005).

[18] B. B, Flynn, R.G. Schroeder and S. Sakakibara, The Impact of Quality Management Practices on Performance and Competitive Advantage. Decision Sciences, Vol. 26, No. 5 (1995), pp.659-691.


[19] J.C. Anderson, M. Rungtusanatham, R.G. Schroeder and Devaraj, A Path Analytic Model of a Theory of Quality Management Underlying the Deming Management Method: Preliminary Empirical Findings. Decision Sciences, Vol. 26 (1995), pp.637-58.


[20] M.M. Abdullah and J. Uli, Direct, Indirect, and Total Effect of CSFs on Organizational Performance: Evidence from Malaysian Electrical and Electronics Firms. UNITAR E-Journal, Vol. 3, No. 2 (2007), pp.11-26.

[21] Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC), Quality Environment - 5S Practices Implementation. Public Training. MPC: PJ (2009).

[22] N. Khamis, M.N. Ab Rahman, K.R. Jamaludin, A.R. Ismail, J.A. Ghani, R. Zulkifli, Development of 5S Practice Checklist for Manufacturing Industry. Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management (ICMEEM), 1-3 July, London (2009).