Lean 5S - The Foundation of your business

Elements and the objectives of Lean 5S

Benefits of Workplace organisation

Description the steps of application






Eliminate all non-essential tools, materials from the workplace


Organize all necessary tools, materials

Assign an optimal area in the workplace


 Regularly clean the workplace and equipment

Pre curser to TPM

Exposes potential hazards (early warning system)


Develop standard procedures and checklists to maintain an orderly, clean, and functional work area


Implement systems to monitor and maintain to ensure the workplace is improved and this becomes part of the culture



The implementation of the Lean 5S program in a workplace involves not only an initial improvement of a given area, but, more importantly, it involves the creation of a disciplined system to maintain the improved condition over time

Creates a foundation to build stability

Key for building a successful continuous improvement environment


Improves incidental activities by decreasing operator movements through improved layout of tools/equipment


Eliminates non-value-added activities (e.g., searching for tools) by clearly identifying useful materials and then organizing those items and positioning them in their optimum locations

Lean 5S – Workplace organisation benefits



Creates an awareness of the principles

Develops an understanding in the
organisation of the connection between workplace organisation and workplace efficiency

Completely cleans and organizes a "model area" as the start of ongoing  improvement activities

Develops standard procedures for maintenance and a system to enforce them

Improves morale and increases worker involvement levels


Reduces cost

Improves operating conditions

Reduces equipment operational errors

Improves process reliability

Promotes safety

Increases equipment availability

Improves customer perception

Lean 5S & Continuous Improvement

Increased safety

Improved work environment

Greater visibility

Higher performance

STEP 1 – Sort



Determine what is necessary
in the workplace, remove
other items

Determine storage location based on frequency of use

Use only 1 organisation method within the company to create immediate visibility and response (i.e., tagging method)

-If there is a question, use a red tag which requires further review

When in doubt, throw it out!

Organize only what is needed, in the amount needed, when it is needed

STEP 2 Set In Order




Plan an optimum layout

Reconfigure the area to match the planned layout

Use floor tape to mark the new locations for all equipment, racks, production materials, etc., as well as aisles

Determine the best location for tools, gauges, work aids, and other small items

Mark and label all locations

Build or install racks for frequently used items

Store items close to their points of use

A place for everything and everything in its place

Visual controls communicate information about the work area

Eliminates Searching

 STEP 3 - Shine





Clean the entire work area including floors, walls, equipment, etc.

Tag any leaks, broken dust guards, etc.  Make sure that anything that has been tagged is repaired as soon as possible

Restore the equipment to its original functional condition

Paint or refinish areas

Assure that the proper cleaning tools are present to maintain the improved condition

Assure that proper collection methods exist for normal work debris and trash

Maintaining everything in top condition enables it to be used at any time

Clean work environments relieve frustration and stress

Daily cleaning should be a part of the normal work routine

Relieves stress and strain – when something needs to be used, it is in good working order

Increases work efficiencies

STEP 4 – Standardise

Establish a standardized approach

Define what needs to be done on a regular basis to maintain the work area

Determine the intended frequency – classify as daily, weekly, monthly, and semi annually (other time increments may be used)

Use this information to write standardized 5S checklists

Decide who should be responsible

Incorporate the content of the checklists into standard work instructions

 Ensure that the first 3 steps
are maintained

Create and develop organisation

Develop 5S discipline

Provide a baseline for improvement

 STEP 5 – Sustain

 Develop a 5S audit sheet as a guideline

Establish an audit schedule

Perform regular Lean 5S audits

Divide the plant into different areas and assign 5S responsibility

Involve operators, supervisors and  managers in Lean 5S audits on a regular basis (possibly monthly)