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What is 5S?

One of the methods of determining an organisations approach to its business is to evaluate its workplace organisation capability & visual management standards.

5S engages people through the use of ‘Standards’ and ‘Discipline’.

It is not just about housekeeping, but concentrating on maintaining the standards & discipline to manage the organisation – all achieved by upholding & showing respect for the workplace every day.

The 5 Steps are as follows

Sort: Sort out & separate that which is needed & not needed in the area.

Set in order: Arrange items that are needed so that they are ready & easy to use. Clearly identify locations for all items so that anyone can find them & return them once the task is completed.

Shine: Clean the workplace & equipment on a regular basis in order to maintain standards & identify defects.

Standardise: Revisit the first three of the 5S on a frequent basis and confirm the condition of the workplace using standard procedures.

Sustain: Keep to the rules to maintain the standard & continue to improve every day.

5S creates a foundation for well running equipment in any manufacturing process. In a clean well lit environment it is much easier to spot emerging issues such as metal shavings or fluid leaks. This is one of the reasons why most companies move away from dark concrete floors and install white epoxy coating, bright lighting and ProfilGate CleanTrax Clean Walking & Driving Zones.

Benefits of 5S workplace organisation

5S relates to workplace organisation and forms a solid foundation upon which many organisations base their drive for continuous improvement. It is equally applicable & successful in all sectors helping to achieve high impact results.

It is a systematic and methodical approach allowing teams to organise their workplace in the safest and most efficient manner.

The discipline to check & repair equipment is included & adopted. The entire process is managed through the use of team generated audit documents, completed on an agreed frequency by responsible owners within the Gemba.


  • Improved safety
  • 5S becomes a fundamental business measure & key driver for Kaizen
  • Forms a solid foundation upon which to build continuous improvement
  • Employees gain a sense of ownership, involvement & responsibility
  • Reduction in waste – as defined by Ohno’s seven forms of waste
  • Improved performance in productivity, quality & morale leads to increased profitability

What is Kaizen?

Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement.

The concept was originally introduced to the West by Masaaki Imai in his book Kaizen: The Key to Japan’s Competitive Success, in 1986. Today, kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy.

Kaizen is continuous improvement that is based on certain guiding principles:

  • Good processes bring good results
  • Go see for yourself to grasp the current situation
  • Speak with data, manage by facts
  • Take action to contain and correct root causes of problems
  • Work as a team
  • Kaizen is everybody’s business
  • And much more!

One of the most notable features of kaizen is that big results come from many small changes accumulated over time. However, this has been misunderstood small changes. In fact, kaizen means everyone is involved in making improvements. While the majority of changes may be small, the greatest impact may be kaizens that are led by senior management as transformational projects, or by cross-functional teams as kaizen events.

Hence why our clients like Jaguar Landrover, BMW Mini, Honda, Federal Mogul have become trusted partners because we have unique products such as the CleanTrax Profilgate system and our Longopac Quick Bin systems. These products have won awards in helping to improve 5S and Kaizen.