About 5S

5S is one of the most well-known and successful workplace organization and improvement methods. It is both a visual management system and framework focused on organization and efficiency that is structured into five steps, also called the five pillars, that will support the effectiveness of the system.

Originating from Japan, 5S is a series of five steps named from Japanese terms: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke, the 5 S’s. Translated into English, the steps are: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. Each step will guide you through the organization from start to finish, with the need goal to standardize and carry on the principles of 5S continuously. The 5S methodology can be traced to post-war Japan and the Toyota Production System and 5S is an important and valuable tool for lean manufacturing.

5S is much more than just an organizational strategy. It is both a sub-part to the Lean philosophy and a simple start to implementing Lean principles. The system utilizes visual control and visual cues to encourage workers, thus creating better problem-solving skills in the workplace, improving employee morale and employee engagement. It utilizes visual management and visual cues to communicate effectively with workers and visitors in the facility. 5S is not just about cleaning up and eliminating toolboxes, but also creates and fosters a workplace environment that can adapt to succeed.

From tool chests to offices, there are a number of areas in workplace that can benefit from 5S. We will explore the need for employee involvement in a 5S system and different tools 5S utilizes for efficiency. We’ll discuss the differences and similarities between 5S and 6S, and how to implement a new organization strategy into your workplace immediately.