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Lean Manufacturing Guide: What Are The 5S Techniques

Lean Manufacturing Guide: What Are The 5S Techniques

Feb 15 2021 at 16:54

The 5S system refers to a methodology of lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing involves limiting the waste that results from production and while boosting productivity at the same time. 

This methodology made its debut in the Toyota Production System and was geared towards increasing productivity, ensuring customer satisfaction, and simultaneously reducing its waste footprint. It entails employee training to adopt a more productive routine that eliminates unnecessary waste. The employees are taught to use the right equipment and efficiently organise the workplace. By making minor changes in the company’s framework, they are able to realise that there’s a more positive impact in its general productivity. 

Below, you will find these 5S elements explained in detail, how you could use them in construction training, and other useful ways. 


This involves allocating resources based on their priority in the organisation. It should be done for every level of equipment, from office stationery to machinery. This audit also looks at what each item brings to the table, its security level, and the optimal solution for its current application. 

Once this is done to determine its usefulness and appropriateness, relevant actions are taken towards ensuring efficiency. This may result in its sale, a movement to the storage, a movement to another division or stripping or parts.

Set in order

Once you have sorted through everything in the organisation, the next step is to organise these pieces of equipment. This step involves optimising your resource utility and storage. Every individual in the organisation creates a relevant list of what they require to complete their tasks and be efficient at their jobs. 

This will give you the ease of allocating resources to where they are needed. Organising this equipment is vital in eliminating waste in the workplace. This wastefulness usually manifests in the form of time wastage, imperfect products, erratic movement, surplus inventory, poor allocation of skill and poor management of surplus. 


This step of the process is often overlooked despite how essential and useful it is. To ensure high levels of operating functionality, you are advised to keep the organisation neat and tidy. Work flows easily when every part of your workplace is neatly organised. It also keeps your employees’ morale high as they are not having a hard time at work and able to carry out their duties with ease. 

As such, it leads to them enjoying being at work. This step also entails maintenance and repair of the machinery and equipment. As a result, employees are encouraged to keep their work stations clean in a bid to reduce the risk of workplace accidents. Such tips and precautions are also taught in the 5S techniques course, which has been proved to be useful in terms of workplace safety in the manufacturing industry.


The fourth ‘S’ is built on standardisation. All members of the organisation are expected to assimilate the newly acquired practices into their daily routines. It starts from tuning their mindsets to support these principles. Failure in this stage could revert operations to what they used to be. This can be achieved by coming up with reminders, schedules, charts and diagrams to help stick to the new standards. 


This step is based on a long-term mindset – the need to interlace company goals with these set techniques. The set models will have to be constantly updated based on the changes in equipment and machinery. Members of the organisation will have to be motivated, remain vigilant of changes, and take on a healthy growth mindset to keep in line on a daily basis.

At WFA, we currently provide online learning for the 5S techniques, which’ll equip you with the knowledge and skills in areas like work area cleanliness, organisation, decluttering, and even self-discipline.