5S: Workplace Organization

By: Chris Meeks


Could your facility benefit from more organization, standardization and ultimately, more discipline? If so, looking into one of Lean manufacturing’s tools, 5S, may be worth further evaluation.


In an example noted during a project in January 2013, it was evident that too much ‘stuff’ consumed the production areas, led by inventory. It was discovered that as much as 9 months of inventory surrounded some operators at their work stations, tools and equipment were scattered aimlessly and the clutter was observed negatively affecting the operators’ ability to work. Through organization of the area, standardization of location for tools and equipment and discipline instilled to maintain the achievements, a much more productive, flowing production area was developed.


  • The 5 S’s stand for:

– Sort

– Set in Order

– Shine

– Standardize

– Sustain


  • Duration:

– Project took 3 days


  • Employees commitment:

– The employees conducted the event and took ownership of the event; TMAC facilitated the event


  • How the employees felt afterward:

– The operators were relieved to have clean, organized areas to work in


Important to note: 5S can be done not only in a factory but in office space as well.




5S PIC1_ 9.9.14   AFTER
















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