the 5 s

The 5 S (In a nut shell)


5S is the name of a workplace organisation method that uses a list of FIVE Japanese words:

seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke.

Transliterated or translated into English, they all start with the letter “S”.

The 5S’s describes how to organise a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order.

What is 5 S

the 5 s

The First Pillar: SORT

Sort means that you remove all items from the work place that are not needed for current production (or clerical) operations.

Surprisingly, this simple concept is easily misunderstood. At first, it may be difficult to distinguish between what is needed and what is not.

Common Issues:

People tend to hold onto parts, thinking that they may be needed for the next order (sometimes holding on to obsolete or ‘out of issue’ parts without realising).

They see an inappropriate machine and think they will use it someday or somehow.

This leads to inventory and equipment tending to build up over time and start getting in the way of everyday production activities. This leads to a massive build-up of waste factory wide. This factory waste leads to numerous problems including the reduction of floor space, creation of trip hazards and damage to employee morale due to a messy work environment.

During the SORT stage of the 5S methodology, a RED TAG HOLDING AREA is set up in order to allow an evaluation of unwanted items. RED TAGs are used to identify unwanted items before placing the ‘tagged items’ in the RED TAG HOLDING AREA.












The Second Pillar: SET IN ORDER

Set In Order can be defined as arranging needed items so that they are easy to use and labelling them so that they are easy to find and put away.

Set In Order should always be implemented with Sort.

the 5 s

5S Principles

The Third Pillar: SHINE

Shine means sweeping floors, wiping off machinery, and generally making sure everything in the factory or workplace stays clean. In a manufacturing company, Shine is closely related to the ability to turn out quality products. Shine also includes saving labour by finding ways to prevent dirt, dust and debris from piling up in the workshop.

Shine should be integrated into daily maintenance tasks to combine cleaning checkpoints with maintenance checkpoints.


The Forth Pillar: STANDARDISE

All work stations for a particular job should be identical. All employees doing the same job should be able to work in any station with the same tools that are in the same location in every station. Everyone should know exactly what his or her responsibilities are for adhering to the first 3 esses.


The Fifth Pillar: SUSTAIN

Within the context of the five pillars, Sustain means making a habit of properly maintaining correct procedures.

The first four pillars can be implemented without difficulty if the workplace is one where the employees commit to sustaining 5S conditions. Such a workplace is likely to enjoy high productivity and high quality.


Before you start your 5S Campaign….You need to make all employees aware of what 5S is!

Use our Posters and other visuals to make everyone aware! (click on the poster to buy)

What is 5S

5S Principles

5S Posters


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