Mastering the 5S Methodology: A Comprehensive Guide

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If your company is most like organizations, you’re searching for a competitive edge. Something that will be the reduce the costs, increase sales, and make you more agile in a changing business environment.

You’ve found it.

Simply putting, 5S activity a systematic approach to workplace organization.

But it’s also much more than that. 5S is about efficiency, competitiveness, and survival. It is the deceptively normal system that can be the creates an organized and productive in the workplace.

It is not only about cleaning up and eliminating toolboxes. 5S creates a workplace environment that can be adapt and succeed.

Chaos and non-productivity are your enemies; organization and efficiency are your allies.

 If implemented correctly and followed the diligently, 5S will lead to:

• Lower costs

• Better quality

• Improved safety

 • Increased productivity

• Higher employee satisfaction

From the offices upper level management to be the workstations in the factory, the power of this system will be quickly reveal itself in your bottom line

Background on 5S activities

  • The word of the  “5S” was relies in 1980’s in manufacturing sector in the Japan, as Toyota Production System (TPS) became a famous in the sector and “5S activities” were set as one of the bases of TPS
  •  Service industry started to be use in “5S” in 1990.


  • Improved safety
  • Higher equipment availability
  • Lower defect rates
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased production agility and flexibility
  • Improved employee morale
  • Better asset utilization
  • Enhanced enterprise image to the customers, suppliers, employees, and the managements.

5S is becoming popular for the 7 solid reasons

  • Visible results enhance the generation of the increase and new ideas.
  • The workplace gets cleaned up and the better organized found
  • Hospital and office operations become a easier and the safer
  • Results are seen to everyone – insiders and outsiders
  • People are naturally disciplined
  • People take proud in their clean and organized workplace
  • As a result the companies good image generates for more better

Target of 5S

  • Zero changeovers leading to product and services diversification
  • Zero defects leading to higher quality
  • Zero waste leading to lower cost
  • Zero delays leading to on time delivery to customer
  • Zero injuries promoting safety
  • Zero breakdowns bringing better maintenance


The goal of the Sort is to be destroy all the un-needed tools and the materials and create a space free of clutter. This allows for the workflow free from the distraction.

A good rule of thumb is: “If you do not use it on a daily basis, throw it out.” Leave only the things you absolutely need to get your job done. This includes tools, materials, and machinery.

When the executing the Sort sequance, you must be the vigilant and ruthless. Doing this first step correctly will be lay the groundwork for the 5S and ensure a successful implementation of the 5S model. Identifying the unneeded parts and tools is not always in the easy task. Employees and the managers get so used to the chaos that they don’t even seen it in anymore.

  • Identify what is the needed and the not needed right here, right now
  • Set items aside for group disposition
  • Dispose of items:
  • Find a better location for the work area place
  • Locate elsewhere in the facility
  • Sell, give away, or throw away

Set in Order

  • Organize and locate all necessary items.
  • Decide how many of each item will be stored in the given the location (set height, size, and min/max inventory limits).
  • Make it easy for the anyone to find and use them.
  • Make it obvious when they are not in their correct workplace.


  • Thoroughly clean the overall workplace.
  • Clean workplace and equipment, inside and out.
  • Identify and eliminate sources of contamination.
  • Find ways to keep the workplace clean area.
  • Make cleaning part of everyday work.
  • Adopt cleaning as a form of the inspection.
  • Restore items to like-new condition where possible. – Refurbish, paint, clean, polish, etc.
  • Plan cleaning assignments and cleaning methods.
  • Replace worn wires, hoses, etc.

Prevent the dirt, grime, dust, garbage and contamination from occurring

Benefits of Shine

  • Cleaning helps uncover problems “Inspection”.
  • Cleaner facilities to the support higher quality, higher accuracy and finer processing technologies.
  • Fewer equipment breakdowns because the you spot problems/deterioration in early.
  • A safer workplace with fewer hazards.
  • A more effective and satisfying place to work area.


  • Maintain an environment where the s1 to s3 are the implemented for the same manner throughout the organization or workplace.
  • Give the opportunities to employees to take active parts in the development of these standards process


  • Maintain the s1-s4 through discipline, commitment,silicence and empowerment
  • It focuses on defining a new mind-set and a standard in workplace


  • Positive attitude is the very important activity for implementation of 5S activities.
  • It is not “Cleaning Campaign”
  • 5S can identified and the reduced “abnormalities” and “waste”, improve “team work”, “cleanness”, “safety” and “productivity”
  • It is the basis of organization managements


The true power of 5S reveals itself when your whole organization embraces its ideals and the employees see that your business is transform itself.

It has to be the potential to transform your company into a safe and productive warehouse, manufacturing facility, or office.

One of the 5S most powerful attributes is that it’s a visual model. Each tool has to be an outlined home and each pathway is marked with lines. Vision is our dominant sense and area, and because 5S uses colours, lines, and labels to organize, following the steps becomes second nature very easily.

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