The 5S methodology originated in Japan and was first implemented by the “Toyota Motor Corporationin the early and mid-20th century.

         5S is a Japanese technology. This is a systematic form of visual management. 5S is giving fruitful result in a workplace that is clean, uncluttered, safe, and well organized to help reduce waste and optimize productivity. 5S list of 5 Japanese words Seiri, Seiton, Seisō, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. If we translate these words in English then “Sort”, “Set In order”, “Shine”, “Standardize” and “Sustain”. This methodology describes how to organise work place for efficiency and effectiveness. 5S methodology has been created for help to build a quality work environment, both physically and mentally. It involves observing, analyzing, collaborating, and searching for waste and also involves the practice of removing waste.

          This system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which makes it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury.

Benefits of 5S:

1. Work Satisfaction.

2. Safe Work Environment.

3. Reduced Carrying costs.

5. Increase in productivity.

6. Lower defects rate.

7. Better asset utilization.

8. Enhance image to Customers, Clients, Employees and Management.

       Generally, in 5S steps, We do sorting the items which is needed and remove the wastage and surplus, keep them in order, cleaning on daily basis, and in 4th “S” standardize processes used to last 3 “S” and make this things in habit in last ‘S”.

Now I am going to explain about all “5S”

  1. Sort (Seiri)- Seiri is sorting through all items in a location and removing all unwanted items from that location.


a. Due to less number of items it will take less time of looking all the material. Because unnecessary items already removed.

b. Increase the amount of available space.

c. Increase safety by eliminating obstacles.

d. Material inspection can be done easily.

How to do:

Check all item in a workplace and check whether is it required or not? Or required later. If required later then you can tag it with “Red Tag” it means this is not required or surplus declared from this location but will be move later. And keep those items which you are using regularly.

      2. Set in order (Seiton)

Seiton is putting all necessary items in the optimal place for fulfilling their function in the workplace


a. Ensure that all items are organized and each item has a designated place. Organize all the items left in the workplace in a logical way so they make tasks easier for workers to complete.

How to do:

Keep the goods on the basis of their usage, which item is used more and which is less used. There should be easy access to all goods. Highly used goods should be kept nearby and less used items should be kept away. Assign fixed location for all tools, use sticker, tag, marking, hint so that items are easy to returns on correct location. And it is easy to find missing items (If any).

(Our Kitchen is the best example of Seiton (Set in Order), I request you to Please think and give some example in comment box. It would be highly appreciated).

      3.Shine (Seiso)

Seiso is cleaning and inspection of workplace, tools, assets and equipment on regular basis.


a. Improve the material, tools & assets life.

b. Any damage, defect & errors can be find easily & in time.

c. Neat & Clean workplace always giving a healthy environment.

How to do:

Inspect & clean the workplace, machine, tools, assets, equipment regularly. During cleaning keep eyes on any kind of obstacle, error, damage, leakage etc.

     4. Standardize (Seiketsu)

Seiketsu is standardize the processes used to last three steps.

After completion of all three steps the things looks good. Everything is organized, only required items stored, everything is in its place.

What to do:

Ensure that the first three processes are done continuously. Make plans for this not to fail.

How to do:

a. Make a check list to do for all first three steps.

b. In Standardized we must develop a standard for 5s methodology.

c. Give responsibility to team members to do sorting, set in order & Cleaning the items.

        5.Sustain (Shitsuke)

Self-discipline comes under Shitsuke of Workers, team members, Managers.

What to do:

Last step Shitsuke is the most important step of 5S. Involved Management in this process and it should be become Company Culture.

How to do:

a. Give training on regular basis about “importance of 5S”.

b. Perform regular audit to check whether 5S is following properly or not?

c. Take feedback from employees & workers.

d. Whenever a problem appears, find out the cause of it immediately and make necessary changes for it so that this problem does not occur further.

“If 5S is implemented correctly then soon the organization will see its benefits”

          Some organizations want to add sixth “S” in 5S program, which is “Safety”. After this 5S becomes 5S+1. Now-a-days companies are giving a lot of priority to safety. 6S is involve to focusing to reduce risk factor at working place. If everything is organised, stored in proper place, no any damaged tools or asset working on site then no need to take another safety step and the risk factor is very low.

By Anurag