5S Strategy for Workplace Effectiveness


5S strategy

is one of the most cost-effective lean techniques available and it is the foundation to all other lean techniques. That makes it the perfect starting point for bringing the benefits of lean to your workplace.

It is simple to get started with 5S, it begins with cleaning the company. By using a Dura label printer you can mark and label everything so that tools, supplies, equipment and materials can be properly identified and stored. Mark machines and equipment with labels providing standardized operating and maintenance instructions. Ensure you are fully in compliance with all OSHA requirements by making needed safety signs, pipe markers and GHS labels. Make way-finding signs to identify work locations and the safest and most efficient paths through your facility.


5S strategy is foundation to all other lean techniques and having proper labeling and signs is foundational to 5S.

The key benefits of 5S are:

Less Waste (Improved Efficiency)

Reduced Space

Used For Storage Improved Maintenance Improved Safety Better

More Committed Employees Improved Quality

What Are The Benefits Of 5S?

Less Waste Equals Improved Efficiency A key principle of 5S is to get rid of items that are not used, and make it easier to find items that are needed. This gets rid of clutter, unnecessary tools, scrap materials and unused supplies. It organizes, labels and places close at hand those tools and materials that are needed on a regular basis. The result is that time is spent more productively and less time is wasted finding needed tools and materials.

In 5S, materials, tools, machines and equipment are positioned in ergonomic locations. This helps reduce fatigue, quickens access, and results in a more efficient workplace. Ergonomic positioning helps to address and eliminate the seven wastes.


Sort helps you remove clutter by identifying items that don’t belong or are no longer used. This frees up space, improving workflow and efficiency.

Set in Order adds efficiency by creating a place for every item based on use and function. Tools and supplies are easy to find because they are labeled so everyone knows where they belong.

Shine requires everything to be restored to a like-new condition. This step helps operators keep equipment running smoothly and spot issues that may have been hidden by grime or dirt.

Standardize helps to address common efficiency and quality issues caused by doing the same thing more than one way. In this step, workers standardize how tasks are performed as well as how each work area is organized.

Sustain ensures that your program will continue each day. In this step, you repeat each step in 5S to maintain improvements.

Next, you need to prepare your workforce by training them about continuous improvement and the tool you selected. Helpful resources like the Best Practice Guide to 5S by Graphic Products can help you prepare your workforce by explaining the fundamentals of 5S, providing helpful training tools, and showing how 5S can be implemented from start to finish.


Ideas for Getting Started

Let’s say you chose 5S as your continuous improvement tool and have prepared your workforce. It’s now time to begin by choosing a starting point in your workplace. An area will be a good candidate if:

It’s disorganized and cluttered. It’s a bottleneck that causes other areas to fall behind. It has a high error rate (final products frequently contain errors).

Making Your Continuous Improvement Program Last The important thing is to make sure you implement 5S in every part of your business. As your program progresses, other ideas for improvements will become apparent. For example, an improvement in shipping may make issues in procurement, fabrication, and assembly more obvious—enabling workers to address problems they were unaware of.

As the name of the final step in 5S (Sustain) suggests, 5S is meant to be practiced every day, in every part of the workplace. This makes continuous improvement possible. When a change occurs, workplace organization and the tools used can be updated. New standards are created, adapted to each new process. Continuous Improvement Tools Having the right tools for your continuous improvement plan will make the process easier. No matter if you need to create 5S labels for supplies, operation instructions to streamline tasks, or quality control labels to help improve quality, .

Take your workplace organization a step further with floor marking and wayfinding supplies. With a variety of available colors, you can color code tools, supplies, pathways, and much more to keep your workplace running efficiently.


Solutions for Implementing 5S in Your Facility

Graphic Products provides several resources for implementing the 5S System in your facility.

Watch 5S webinar, Implementing 5S In Your Workplace. It covers 5S basics, offer tips for improving efficiency, and more.

Grab guide to the 5S System for improving safety, quality, productivity and efficiency throughout your workplace. The guide outlines each of the steps and provides a path for implementing the system through new processes and effective signage.

Safe, strategic floor and aisle marking is a common method for implementing 5S in warehouses and other large facilities.

Visual communication throughout the workplace is a key component of the 5S System. Labels & signs can help employers create a more organized jobsite.


Once your managers have implemented 5S, you should select a small pilot area.

When selecting an area and before implementing 5S:

Choose an area that has historic issues with productivity, organization, or quality. Be sure the area is small enough so that 5S can be implemented in a timely manner. Map out the area’s workflow. Document how long tasks take to complete. Take pictures (before). Once you’ve implemented 5S in your pilot area, take pictures to show the difference and track the improvements. This will help show both the physical transformation and the improvements in efficiency. Employees will be able to see the benefits 5S can bring to the workplace, helping to ensure that your 5S program will have the support it needs from your employees.

Get started with 5S today.



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