5S is a Lean method intended to implement order in the workplace. The goal of 5S is to improve efficiency by eliminating various wastes, including the waste of motion and time spent looking for tools, materials or information. 

What Is the Goal of 5S?

5S is a Lean method intended to implement order in the workplace.

  • The goal of 5S is to improve efficiency by eliminating various wastes, including the waste of motion and time spent looking for tools, materials or information.
  • Other benefits include improved safety and morale due to a more effective work environment.

What Is the 5S Process?

  • SORT
    Purge and organize work area.

    Understand where items belong to be easily accessible when needed.

    Clean work area to be free of dirt and clutter.

    Document and enforce/reward successful 5S behaviors.

    Continuously audit and improve process.

Follow every step with Safety!

Download AccuformNMC's recent 5S Visual Solutions Catalog to browse an array of products to help you implement 5S in your workplace.

Why Use 5S?

  • Remove waste from the workplace.

  • Provide an environment where continuous improvement is encouraged and embraced.

  • Create a culture of discipline.

  • Improve safety.

  • Improve quality.

The 8 Lean Manufacturing Wastes — 5S Addresses Downtime

     Non-utilized people
     Inventory in excess
     Extra processing

1) SORT — Decide What Is Needed


  • To sort necessary and unnecessary items.
  • ​​​Store items:
    – Often-used items remain in the work area.
    – Infrequently used items move away from the work area.
    – Not needed items are disposed of.


  • Remove waste.
  • Create a safer work area.
  • Increase space.
  • Visualize the process easier.

Things to Remember

  • Start in one area, then sort through everything.
  • Discuss use of items with all persons involved.
  • Use appropriate decontamination, environmental and safety procedures.
  • Items that cannot be removed immediately should be tagged for later removal to a red tag holding area.
  • If necessary, use movers and riggers.

What Is a Red Tag Holding Area?

  • A designated, central storage location for all workplace 5S activity. It holds rarely used items that are managed and sorted by an assigned employee.

How to Use the Red Tag Method: 

  • Place items with red tags from sorted areas into the Red Tag holding area.
  • Keep items highly visible.
  • Clearly label items.
  • Assign a Red Tag Manager.
  • Document rules for:
    – Placing items in Red Tag area
    – Removal of items
    – Disposition of items

2) SET IN ORDER — Arranging Necessary Items


  • To arrange all necessary items in a designated place that is easily visible and accessible.


  • Visually show what is required or is out of place.
  • Efficiently find items and documents (silhouettes/labels).
  • ​Save time by not having to search for items.
  • Travel shorter distances.

Things to Remember

  • Things used together should be kept together.
  • Use labels, tape, floor markings, signs, and shadow outlines.
  • ​Shareable items are kept at a central location (eliminates excess).

A place for everything and everything in its place.

3) SHINE — Cleaning the Workplace


  • To clean everything and develop the process to make keeping it clean a part of your everyday work.


  • A clean workplace indicates a quality product and process.
  • Dust and dirt cause product contamination and potential health hazards.
  • ​A clean workplace helps identify abnormal conditions.

Things to Remember

  • “Everything in its place” frees up time for cleaning.
  • Use an office or facility layout as a visual aid to identify individual responsibilities for cleaning. This eliminates "no man’s land."
  • ​Cleaning the work area removes the "grime" of the day to start fresh for success tomorrow.

4) STANDARDIZE — Creating Consistency


  • To set expectations and processes to make 5S the everyday standard for your workplace.


  • Maintain the workplace at a level that uncovers problems and makes them obvious.
  • Sustain sorting, storage and shining activities every day.
  • Continuously improve your office or facility by continuous assessment and action.

Things to Remember

  • Always keep the workplace neat enough for visual identifiers to be effective in uncovering hidden problems.
  • Develop a system that enables everyone in the workplace to see problems when they occur.

5) SUSTAIN — Maintaining the 5S


  • To maintain and encourage the implemented 5S procedures on a daily basis through regular checks and recognition programs.


  • Build 5S into our everyday process.
  • Allow the 5S process time to flourish.
  • Create opportunities for workplace and production improvement.

Things to Remember

  • Develop schedules and checklists.
  • Good habits are hard to establish.
  • ​Commitment and discipline toward housekeeping are essential first steps toward being world class.

5S Cheat Sheet

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Thank you for good data sharing


Well Explained and Resourceful Piece.

Hope to have updates from you guys.


Thank you for commenting, Lamin, and thank you for visiting Better MRO!


I love it. Thanks for this helpful information


Superb ..Excellent  explained 


Each S has be covered perfectly to the point.


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