What is 5S Methodology?

The 5S system is a methodology that advocates that all areas in a workplace should be organized, efficient and safe. According to the 5S methodology, the fast and safe performance of the employees depends on the orderly and safe working environment. So why? You can find the answer to this question and more information about the 5S system in our blog post.

Definition of 5S System

The 5S methodology is a simple but highly effective system used by businesses operating in every region of the world. The 5S system focuses on workplace organization and efficiency. What does that mean?

The 5S methodology aims to create an orderly, efficient and safe working environment for employees. Arrangement of equipment and materials, elimination of the factors that cause security violations in the work area and maintaining this are very important for the 5S method. Because in such a working environment, the confusion of the employees disappears, they can easily reach all kinds of materials they need and they can easily follow the processes.

The 5S methodology consists of five components: classification, regulation, cleanliness, standardization, and discipline. These five components help businesses create an orderly, safe and efficient workspace. By applying these five components in the workplace, businesses prevent employees from wasting time and effort to perform their duties in a complex area. Thus, the overall quality of the working environment is improved.

What are the 5 Steps of the 5S Methodology?

The 5S Methodology is an approach adopted by Toyota in Japan. For this reason, the S terms that make up 5S are Japanese. Now, we will examine these terms both in their original form and in their translations.

  1. Sort (Seiri)

The first step is sorting. The purpose of this step is to remove all kinds of items that are not necessary in the work area and to eliminate the clutter in the area. For example, there are many necessary or unnecessary items for those working in a workspace. In this step, he wants the unnecessary items to be eliminated.

  1. Set in Order (Seiton)

The purpose of the second step, sequencing, is to keep the workspace organized. For example, a place should be determined for each item and it should be put in the same place when used. In this way, it is much easier for employees to find, use and place the items they need.

  1. Shine (Seiso)

The first and second steps improve efficiency by arranging the work area, while the third step, polishing, ensures that the work area is kept clean. The purpose of polishing is to clean and prevent the formation of dirt that may occur in the work area. For example, businesses should set up routine cleaning plans such as daily wiping and weekly thorough cleaning to implement this step.

  1. Standardize (Seiketsu)

Classification, editing and polishing steps provide short-term benefits. The third step to standardize this, Seiketsu wants everything to be done according to a procedure. For example, writing down the decisions made at work, writing down who does what and where is one way to standardize the first three steps. In short, the purpose of the standardization step is to establish standards to keep the work area tidy and clean.

  1. Sustain (Shitsuke)

The last step, discipline, can be defined as the continuation of the first four steps. The purpose of this step is to continue and follow up the implementation of the decisions taken. The 5S process is not a one-time cycle, but a continuous cycle.

Companies Applying the 5S Methodology

  • Toyota

The 5S system was developed for use in Toyota's production systems in the 1980s. For this reason, one of the most well-known companies applying the 5S methodology is Toyota. Toyota has implemented the 5S system in order to identify and eliminate the factors that reduce efficiency in production processes. When we look at Toyota today, the success of the company shows how well this system works in production processes.

  • Microsoft

Microsoft uses the 5S system to organize the workspace in the office environment. An irregular and dirty work environment affects the motivation of employees negatively. Microsoft implements the 5S system to increase employee motivation and increase workplace safety. Thus, Microsoft succeeds in creating a prosperous, safe and peaceful working environment.

What are the Benefits of the 5S Approach?

Every company has its own unique needs. For this reason, their expectations and benefits from the 5S system differ. However, it still provides benefits that apply to every company.

What are the Benefits of 5S for Companies?

  • Employees Use Time Better.

Eliminating unnecessary and unused materials eliminates clutter. In this way, employees can find any material they need much faster instead of wasting time searching.

  • Injury Rates Decrease.

The organization of the work area eliminates clutter in the work environment and ensures routine cleaning. When the unnecessary crowd is eliminated, the possibility of encountering dangerous events such as tripping and falling is also eliminated.

  • Equipment Breakdown Less.

It becomes much easier to prevent malfunctions that may occur when materials and equipment are regularly maintained and constantly inspected.

  • Employee Motivation Increases.

When the 5S principles are applied correctly, employees feel valued and appreciated. In this way, employees are satisfied with their jobs and their loyalty to the company increases.

5S Software


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