5S: A Workplace Organization Technique [Full Guide with Images]

By | September 22, 2018

What is 5S?

5S is a popular workplace organization technique which is generally used in many companies.

The 5S technique is originated and evolved in Japan. The name of the technique or method i.e. 5S is derived from the five steps which are used in this process.

Each step of 5-S has its own importance and hence cannot be neglected.

Basically, name of each step of 5S is in Japanese language but we have translated meaning of those words in English so that they became easy to understand.

5s method

Now let us start our discussion of 5-s, step by step.

Steps of ‘5S’

  1. Seiri (Sort)

The first step of 5S is to sorting out useful and scrap things. We should keep useful things and discard scrap as soon as possible. This waste scrape when sold, can also bring us some money.

  1. Seiton (Set)

After shorting things, we should organize things at right place in the right way. The method of organizing should be such that one can find a tool or service when needed.

  1. Seiso (Shine)

Cleanliness is one of the most things in the company. We should make every thing clean and shining in our workplace. It improves safety and hygiene in the company.

  1. Seiketsu (Standardize)

After implementing above mentioned three steps successfully, we should standardize the process for future reference. The level of excellence achieved should be benchmark for the next time.

  1. Shitsuke (Sustain)

Achieving best is not difficult but the thing that is more difficult and important is to maintaining it. The fifth step of 5S is about maintaining or sustaining 5-S in the organization. 5-S is not a one-time practice, it is a lifelong process.

Audit of 5S

While implementing 5S in the company we should move to next step of 5-S only after making it sure that the current step of 5-S has been implemented successfully.

To make proper implementation of 5-S we should form a 5-S audit team, which has to audit each step of 5-S. Only after the clearance of audit team we should move on to next step.

After successful implementation of 5-S in the company (or Organization), we should run an audit from an external agency. That agency should be well qualified to do 5-S audit. Alternatively, you can ask any other company which has earlier implemented 5-S successfully in their organization.

An external audit is necessary since they can see the minor imperfections in your systems, which your internal audit team cannot find out.

Benefits of 5S

There are numerous benefits of 5-S, some of them are listed below.

  • Increased working efficiency
  • Organized workplace
  • Space saving, since scrap material is sorted out
  • Increased employee morale
  • Cost saving
  • Better safety of man and material at workplace

Also read:

What is TPM?

Image source:

Attribution: By Nikita Klyuchko – Nikita Klyuchko, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27328704

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