5S Workplace Organisation

a well organized workplace is the basis for teamwork

What is 5S Workplace Organization


5S is a technique that describes the way to a friendly and stimulating working environment, in which deviations are immediately visible.



This can be achieved in five steps:
1. Sort

  • When in doubt….throw it out!!!

place all items that are not used in the current process in an auction area (Red Tagging).

2. Store

  • Where; Determine the location, depending on the usage of the item;
  • What; Clearly indicate what should be available
  • How much; Determine the quantity

3. Sweep

  • Define who is responsible for which areas
  • Set up cleaning standards (5W2H)
  • Make spots that are difficult to clean more accessible. Cleaning = inspecting!

4. Standardize

  • Fail safe; Cannot go wrong
  • Visual steering mechanism; Warn when deviating
  • Visual tool; Visible: One Point Lessons, general information

5. Sustain

Make sure that people are willing to follow agreements:

a. Make the best way the easiest way;

b. Reward good behavior

Check compliance with agreements by performing audits.

Different visions organizing working environments:

Shed: private, closed, aimed at individual Supermarket: public, open, aimed at group


  A friendly and stimulating workplace:

  • Everything has a fixed location and quantity
  • Everybody can immediately see, pick and return items required for the process
  • Search time is maximally 30 seconds
  • The workplace is impeccable clean
  • Deviations from the standard are visible in one glance
  • The process is under control by performing everything according to an fixed agreement. Everybody acts according this standard until a better standard has been found.
  • There is a minimal amount of simple paperwork.