Strategic Implementation of the PDCA and 5S Concepts to Improve the Productivity of the Informal Welding Industry in Kumasi, Ghana

Peggy Ama Fening ORCID iD, Isaac Kwabena Agyei ORCID iD, Charles Adu-Boachie ORCID iD  and Cyril Etornam Adala ORCID iD 

Issue: Vol.4  No.11  Article 5  pp.1368 – 1379
DOI: |   Published online 10th November, 2023
© 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


The informal welding industry is one of the major SMEs in Ghana. The industry is however confronted with a lot of challenges which, therefore, can be addressed by the use of Plan-do-check-act (PDCA) and 5S concepts. This study evaluated the benefits of the PDCA and 5S concepts as strategic tools for improving the performance of the informal welding industry in Kumasi, Ghana, by using the exploratory research technique. The PDCA and 5S concepts were implemented for a period of six months using 50 welder industries selected by the stratified random sampling procedure. The diagnosis of the current state of the industry was initially measured through performance indicators generated through questionnaires, interviews and direct observations. The design of the solution strategy was then implemented using the concepts to mitigate the challenges previously identified. This was followed by data collection to monitor the performance of the study factors. The results showed a significant (66%) general improvement in the cleanliness of the work environment, work safety and health of workers of all the study workshops. There was also a general decrease in defective products, and reduction in raw material waste and an enhanced aesthetic value of products. A total of over 17 productivity variables were evaluated out of which 11 saw between 4% and 96 % improvement, which in all translated into boosting the morale of workers and customer confidence. The study contributes to the paradigm shift of SMEs to modern management systems for enhanced performance and competitiveness.

Keywords: Continuous Improvement, Ghana, Informal Welding, Operational Excellence, Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), Strategic Implementation

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Dr. Peggy Ama Fening is a Senior Lecturer, at the Department of Industrial Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) – Kumasi Ghana. She is a former Head of  Department and Sectional Coordinator. Her research interest  includes jewellery and metalsmithing with special focus on combining traditional working processes with contemporary practices.

Dr. Isaac Kwabena Agyei is an astute Senior Lecturer, metal artist, and an exceptional academic figure in the Metals Section of the Department of Industrial Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) – Kumasi Ghana. His specialty is in design and fabrication of metal products, aesthetics and industrial casting methods. He has thought at the Section in his capacity as a Technical Instructor and a Lecturer respectively for about 10 years. He has a lot of research papers to his credit. He is currently working on series of designs of metal souvenirs for KNUST which will serve as a design Bank for the institution. Dr. Agyei obtained his first, second and Ph.D. degrees at KNUST.

Charles Adu-Boachie is a Lecturer and researcher at the Department of Industrial Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) – Kumasi Ghana . He has more than fifteen years of experience, teaching several courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Supervised more than 25 theses/research projects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. With a good background in industrial practice, and having worked earlier as a technical instructor, the focus has always been the need and the means to bridge the gap between academia and industry in the area of metalsmithing and its jewellery subsector.

Cyril Etornam Adala is a Lecturer in Jewellery and Metalsmithing in the Department of Industrial Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He graduated in 2003 with First Class Honours in Art, (Industrial Art, Metal Products Design), from the same institution. In 2005, he enrolled into post-graduate programme in the Department of Industrial Art, KNUST, and completed in 2009 with a Master of Fine Art Degree in Jewellery and Metalsmithing as the sole pioneer of the programme.

Fening, Peggy Ama, Agyei, Isaac Kwabena,  Adu-Boachie, Charles and Adala, Cyril Etornam. “Strategic Implementation of the PDCA and 5S Concepts to Improve the Productivity of the Informal Welding Industry in Kumasi, Ghana.E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 4, no.11 (2023): 1368 – 1379.

© 2023 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Journals. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (