5S Methodology


The 5S methodology is a tool used to organize workplace environments and is used in industries ranging from housekeeping to corporate banking. It is particularly useful in manufacturing environments. The 5Ses are sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. By completing these steps you will begin to eliminate unnecessary items. Remaining property, tools and equipment will be reduced and those critical items will appear easier to find.


There are five main benefits to the 5S method. In addition to improving compliance and developing a system of procedures for facilities management, the method improves safety and communication. It also reduces space requirements and the wasted time looking for tools and equipment. These are things that effectively save time and costs--translating into bottom-line results.

The 5Ses

The 5Ses are sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain. This is the cleaning process. Sort refers to the process of organizing and determining a logic for where things are placed. Straighten is arrangement for easy access. Shining is cleaning, and standardizing is putting a system in place to maintain steps 1 through 3. Finally sustain, the fifth S, refers to the discipline you must have to maintain motivation and stick to your rules.

5Ses in Practice

Go through all tools and materials in your workplace or office area. Keep only the essential things. Focus on efficiency and arranging these essential things in a way that promotes work flow; that is, try to keep tools and office equipment where it will be used. Develop a systematic cleaning schedule for keeping items in this new order. Maintaining a level of cleanliness should be a part of your daily routine. Sustain this process and do not allow your system to fall back into the old way of doing things.

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