What is 5S and Why Should My Business Use It?

by Jul 30, 2019Branding0 comments

Many businesses look to emulate proven systems in order to increase productivity in the workplace. Spending money on employee training and system implementation takes time and money. If you are researching options for your business, continue to read and learn more about why 5S and why your business should use it. 

What is 5S?

5S is a system of five principles created by the Japanese company, Toyota. These principles are cumulative and work towards the goal of increasing productivity while eliminating waste. Though originally designed by Toyota, 5S is not just for manufacturing. This system can be applied to any type of business ranging from schools and hospitals to fast food chains. The five principles are sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. When executed properly, productivity increase is almost inevitable. 

Benefits to the Business 

One of the main benefits of 5S is increased productivity, but this is more of the end result based on many smaller inherent benefits of the 5S system. 5S practices improve conditions for everyone, from saving businesses money to providing superior products to customers, to improving working conditions for employees. The first principle, sort, contributes to productivity by giving every tool a place so time is not wasted searching. The second principle, set in order, helps processes run smoothly by optimizing ergonomics of the environment. Shine means to constantly clean, which sets the stage for a safer environment. Standardize, refers to creating a set system with which to execute the first three principles. Lastly, sustain, refers to on-going training so employees can be self-sufficient within the system. 


Since 5S is standardized, it is easy to scale. This is good knowledge to have when setting up a new business where you are in a position to design your production systems from scratch. However, no matter how old your business is, if you are planning to expand, then there is no better time to start the implementation process. The 5S system can also simplify onboarding and training of new employees which is invaluable during a growth spurt. It will also help you save paid training since new employees are trained during orientation.

It is a good feeling when you can measure the results of 5S implementation and see significant improvements. It is an even better feeling when you know you are doing everything you can to set your business and employees up for success.

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