Charlotte Kelly
October 18, 2017

5 Principles for Operational Excellence from the Lean 5S Guide

5 Principles for Operational Excellence from the Lean 5S Guide5 Principles for Operational Excellence in Manufacturing 

On an Operational Excellence Journey, chaos and unproductivity are your enemies.

Organization and efficiency are your allies. If implemented correctly and followed diligently, 5S will lead to:
  • Lower costs
  • Better quality
  • Improved safety
  • Increased productivity
  • Higher employee satisfaction

But how? Take a look at the 5 Pillars of Lean 5S, courtesy of the Lean 5S Guide - available on BTOES Insights now.

#1 Sort

Sort and separate necessary and unnecessary items in the area. The goal of Sort is to eliminate all of the unneeded tools and materials and to create a space that is free of clutter. This allows for a workflow free from distraction! 

A good rule of thumb is: “If you do not use it on a daily basis – throw it out.” Leave only the things that you absolutely need to get your job done.


#2 Set in Order

Set in Order is the process of putting everything in a place that is easy to get to. All items should be clearly marked so anyone could easily find its proper home. 

The goal of Set in Order is to create a standardized and consistent way to store and retrieve tools and materials. The key here is standardization. The user must develop this system based on how often the tools and materials are accessed and the process that uses them.

Read More: Lean Manufacturing Resources, Guides

#3 Shine

Shine is most likely the most literal of the pillars for Excellence from the Lean 5S Guide - it literally means to remove all the dirt and grime and to keep the workplace clean on daily basis. You want to get it clean and keep it clean. 

When you implement this step, two things will happen. First, your employees will love coming to work in such a clean and bright environment. And second, because you are keeping the equipment and your surroundings in such great shape, you will have fewer injuries and fewer equipment breakdowns. Fewer Issues = Fewer Costs.

#4 Standardize

Standardize creates a system of tasks and procedures that will ensure that the principles of 5S are performed on a daily basis. This is essentially the process of turning your good plans into good habits! At this stage there are 3 major suggestions: 1) Make sure that each employee knows his responsibilities, 2) Make it a part of their daily routine, and 3) Periodic evaluation. 


#5 Sustain

Probably the most challenging stage, Sustain is the final pillar of the 5S system, and its Chief objective is to give your staff the commitment and motivation to follow each step, day in and day out.

Want to learn more about this cornerstone of Lean Manufacturing? Check out the Full Whitepaper below: 



Learn the Principles of the 5S/6S philosophy and 
how to successfully implement it in any facility.



About the Author

Creative Safety Supply is a supplier and manufacturer of industrial safety and Lean manufacturing products. The company’s SafetyTac® floor marking tape, LabelTac® industrial label printers, Lean and 5S supplies and other tools for the workplace have helped businesses of all sizes and across many industries create spaces that are easier to navigate, safer and more efficient.

Download the most comprehensive OpEx Resport in the Industry

The Largest Leadership-Level Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Event

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards

Welcome to BTOES Insights, the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news.



Full-length speaking sessions from the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit, accompanied by featured articles from the Speakers themselves.



Submit an Article

Become a Regular Contributor

AWARD 2019.png
The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit, 2018
Subscribe to Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Insights Now
btoeshelath square banner

Featured Content

  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Technology & Communications: IBM
  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities: Black & Veatch
  • Best Achievement in Cultural Transformation to deliver a high performing Operational Excellence culture: NextEra Energy
Operational Excellence Frameworks and Learning Resources, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation and more introductions
  • Intelligent BPM Systems: Impact & Opportunity
  • Surviving_the_IT_Talent_deficit.png
  • Six Sigma's Best Kept Secret: Motorola & The Malcolm Baldrige Awards
  • The Value-Switch for Digitalization Initiatives: Business Process Management
  • Process of Process Management: Strategy Execution in a Digital World

Popular Tags

Operational Excellence Leadership Premium Business Transformation Business Excellence Process Optimization Business Improvement Process Improvement Process Management Execution Excellence process excellence Continuous Improvement Lean Enterprise Lean Six Sigma Change Management Healthcare and Medical Devices BTOES Video Presentations Culture Transformation Culture BTOES18 Enterprise Excellence BTOES HEALTH Digital Transformation Capability Excellence Customer Experience Strategy Execution Lean Technology Lean Manufacturing Manufacturing BPM Innovation Process Automation Agility Process Design Systems Engineering Awards Adapting to Business Trends Agile Changing & Improving Company Culture Changing Customer Demands Execution & Sustaining OpEx Projects Failure to Innovate Integrating CI Methodologies Lack of/Need for Resources Lack of/Need for Skilled Workers Lack of/Need for Support from Employees Leadership Understanding & Buy-In Maintaining key Priorities New Technologies Organizational Excellence Relationships Between Departments end-to-end Business Transformation BTOES Presentation Slides thought leaders Insurance Professional Services White Paper Operational Excellence Model Banking and Capital Markets Consumer Products & Retail Interview Operational Excellence Example Project Management Automotive and Transportation Frameworks BTOES17 Business Growth Data Data Analytics Kaizen Oil and Gas Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Report Robotic Process Automation Telecommunications Workplace Analytics Announcement BTOES18 Award Winners BTOES18 Awards Communications Digital Exclusive Infographic Jidoka Learning Resource Oil & Gas Recruitment Six Sigma Team The FAST lane