5S is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. 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.
The term 5S comes from five Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke.
In English, these words are often translated to: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain.
Each S represents one part of a five-step process that can improve the overall function of a business.
What Are the 5 S's?
The 5S concept might sound a little abstract at this point, but in reality it's a very practical, hands-on tool that everyone in the workplace can be a part of.
5S involves assessing everything present in a space, removing what's unnecessary, organizing things logically, performing housekeeping tasks, and keeping this cycle going. Organize, clean, repeat.
Let's take a closer look at each of the parts of 5S.
Tip: Set a reminder—on your phone or computer, or posted somewhere in the workspace—to check back in with the red tag area so it doesn't get forgotten.