The Keys to 5S Manufacturing & What You Can Unlock With It

Some call it a unicorn, but increased productivity, improved organization, eliminated waste and an increased bottom line are all achievable  if you get your organization organized with 'lean manufacturing’ and 5S.


First developed in the Japanese automotive industry, the lean approach focuses on eliminating waste, reducing redundancies and improving flow through process efficiencies.




Implementing a lean manufacturing approach means identifying and eliminating any process that adds unnecessary costs. As a result of moving to a more systematic manufacturing approach, companies are adopting the 5S model. 5S applies five principles to help achieve greater organization:


     1. Sort — Eliminate unnecessary clutter


     2. Set in Order — Organize all remaining items


     3. Shine — Clean work environment


     4. Standardize — Implement and reinforce 5S process


      5. Sustain — Maintain 5S process and results




Adopting a lean manufacturing process and the corresponding 5S model of organization has tremendous upsides for companies that utilize these efficient and effective approaches. The benefits of lean manufacturing include:


Eliminate Waste: Waste is any unnecessary step in a manufacturing process that affects cost, deadlines and resources, while providing no value to products or services.


Improve Quality: Improvement of products or services allows companies to meet the needs of customers, while staying competitive.


Cost Reduction: Preventing overproduction and eliminating excessive costs like material storage can be achieved through better processes and materials management.


Downtime Reduction: Reducing defective products and stamping out inefficient work practices or environments helps minimize delays, while creating shorter lead times and faster deliveries.


Safety: A clean, uncluttered and well organized workplace leads to a safer work environment and a resulting decrease in lost time due to injury—all key benefits of lean practices.


Continuous Improvement: Companies that promote a culture of continuous improvement strengthen employee morale, while instilling the desire for lean practice throughout the organization. Continuous improvement is essential for sustainable success with lean manufacturing.




One of the easiest ways to help employees eliminate waste and clutter while bringing organization to the workplace is by adding the right selection of accessories and equipment to the job floor. Providing organizational items like storage bins and shelving units is necessary to implementing and maintaining the 5S approach.


Essentials items also include shadow boards,  conveyors and work benches. Ensuring the work area has plenty of carton flow racks, bin cabinets and bin shelving can also further aid in promoting 5S.


Ultimately sustaining the 5S approach the goal from adding the right accessories is to give employees a clean and well-organized environment so they can safely increase their level of productivity, while boosting morale. That is something everyone can put build toward.




While some opponents might argue that lean manufacturing is difficult to standardize or over-focuses on the present at the cost of future development, the lean process clearly has numerous advantages that make it a viable approach to manufacturing.


Cost-saving: More efficient workflows, resource allocation, production and storage can lead to saving money. While eliminating overproduction and waste, as well as storage management can help save money.


Improved Customer Satisfaction: Improved product or service quality, along with faster delivery times is essential to customer satisfaction and business success.


Environmental Footprint:


Streamlined workflows result in a reduced amount of waste, as well as energy and fuel consumption. The resulting reduced carbon footprint are obvious environmental benefits that aid the planet and a bottom line.




Whether you’re a large manufacturing giant or a smaller company with big operations, lean manufacturing brings solutions to your process. From increasing productivity to eliminating waste and decreasing numerous types of expenses, the lean approach can help optimize the efficiency of your manufacturing process, so you can focus your business on growing your business.


The information contained in this article is for informational, educational, and promotional purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations. If there is any question or doubt in regard to any element contained in this article, please consult a licensed professional.  Under no circumstances will Global Industrial® be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on this article.


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