5S Level

Has 5S been used as a separate lean tool or does it serve as a basis for your learning organization? 5S can be applied to every workplace and process, below we describe 5 levels and the associated follow-up steps to ensure that you are at the forefront of your industry.

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Dennis van de Bunt

What 5S levels are there

Click on the situation that applies to you, or that you want to know more about:

5S niveau 1


5S not used before

You may have heard of it, but not active in the workplace

5S niveau 2


5S started - but back to old situation

Familiar with 5S, once started but currently little to show for it

5S niveau 3


5S is 3S

It's generally clean and tidy, but there's difficulty in standardizing so we keep falling back

5S niveau 4


5S state - how to stay on this level

5S has been applied in the workplace, but there is difficulty with sustaining and securing it

5S niveau 4


5S on a high level - securing can be more efficient

5S is complied at a high level in the workplace, but efficiency can be achieved in the implementation of the assurance

5S niveau 5


5S is the foundation

5S is the foundation, time for continuous improvement

5S niveau 1

5s not used before

Maybe you have heard about 5S, maybe never before and your experience starts with reading our site, but 5S has not yet been applied in your workplace and you probably wonder what it will bring.

What is 5S

5S is a Lean methodology that organizes the workplace according to the 5 Ss and thus eliminates waste and unsafe situations. The 5 S's are:
  • Select
  • Shining
  • Set in order
  • Standardizing
  • Sustain
  • Why 5s?

    In the workplace, waste can probably be seen such as waiting, searching, defects, overproduction, unnecessary or insufficient stock, unused talent and perhaps even dangerous situations or dangerous actions. Not pleasant for employees and not representative towards a customer.

    By applying 5S in the workplace and arranging it efficiently and safely, waste and accidents can be prevented. Read more about the 5S method.

    What will 5S deliver?

    Frequently heard challenges that 5S can support are:

    • Accidents
    • Damages
    • Broken tools / broken machine
    • Waiting times
    • Lack of space
    • Non-representative environment for employee and customer

    When fully and correctly implementing 5S in the workplace, waste and accidents are reduced or prevented. This yields:

      • Higher efficiency (5-20%)
      • Prevent repair costs
      • Safety awareness
      • Clear standards
      • Afwijkingen direct zichtbaar
      • Higher employee satisfaction
      • Joint consciousness
      • Higher first time right
      • Better appearance
      • Ownership in the workplace
      • The foundation for continuous improvement

    What is the next step?

    Step 1 is: the gemba walk. 5S Company takes the current situation of the shop floor and gives advice on the best form of the 5S Implementation.

    5S started - but back to old situation

    This situation applies to many different companies, a start was once made with 5S, but this has stopped somewhere halfway and the workplace is gradually returning to its 'old status'.

    Why do you often fail to implement yourself?

    The power of 5S is also its pitfall: it seems so simple. A well-organized workplace looks 'simple' and sleek, but to realize that is anything but simple. 

    There is basic knowledge of 5S with which the workplace design has been shaped with all good intentions. Materials have been given new places and different lines have been drawn. Yet the workplace seems to be quickly reverting back to the 'old situation'. Usually the cause is not fully and correctly executing the last 2 S's: standardize and persist. 

    How does it become a success?

    To implement 5S sustainably, it is important to implement all 5 S's in a structured manner and to properly record the standards. Subsequently, various tools can ensure that this standard is also followed and thus 5S is maintained. Read more about how 5S Company implements sustainable under 5S implementation.

    What is the next step?

    A fresh 5S start. And to be able to make those, 5S Company always first does a gemba walk, or while round on the shop floor. A sustainable implementation can then be set up and carried out that involves all employees and delivers immediate results.

    Delen 5S acties app

    5S is 3S

    5S is implemented in the workplace and at the end of the working day it is clean and tidy. However, this still regularly lapses when the workload increases. It is also often the same people who pay more or less attention to 5S. It still lacks a good standard and tools to maintain 5S, regardless of the workload.

    How do I get the whole team involved in 5S?

    It regularly happens that after the implementation of 5S there remains a group of employees who regularly have to be reminded of the agreed standard and who do not always follow it. There can be several causes for this, but the most common are:

    • Insufficient involvement of all employees
    • Insufficient or incorrect use of 'sustain' tools
    • Priority shift

    Are all employees sufficiently involved during the implementation? 5S Company involves all employees on the shop floor in a 5S rollout, not just the quality manager or department head. This creates a common interest and employees are more likely to follow the (personally designed) standard.

    Is 5S really the standard? Or does it come into question as soon as the workload increases. However, the effect of well applied 5S is working efficiently. Something that should help with a higher workload.

    In addition, 5S Company 5S training to employees about different tools, forms and resources to sustain 5S.

    What is the next step?

    To get a good picture of the root cause, 5S Company conducts a gemba walk (round on the work floor). Based on the results, an appropriate training offer can be made to bring 3S to 5S.

    5S implemented
    How to maintain it on this level

    5S is well implemented, there is a clear standard in the workplace and the working method is already in the DNA of the employees. The big challenge now is to guarantee and improve quality and to maintain it.

    How do I keep an overview and control on 5S?

    In order to guarantee and improve the standard that has been applied on the work floor, an overview is needed:

    • What is the current standard
    • What improved standard do we want to achieve
    • What do we have to do for that
    • Audits

    5S Company has developed the 5S app , a handy tool with which progress and follow-up of the 5S actions can be tracked. For example, actions to be performed can be assigned to employees and, by means of a deadline, contribute in a structured way to the timely safeguarding and improvement of the standard.

    There can also be an internal or external 5S audit be recorded and scored quickly and efficiently. This gives a clear picture of the progress.

    Audit 5S Company
    Foto 5S app tablet

    5S on a high level - securing can be more efficient

    5S is adhered to at a high level in the workplace, is integrated in the work processes and employees carry out this independently. However, there is still room for efficiency in recording by switching from paper/excel to smarter digital. 

    How do I carry out sustaining even more efficiently?

    In many cases there is a plan at this level for carrying out improvement actions and conducting audits. However, the form is often still on paper or your own Excel files. With the 5S app from 5S Company, you can work even more efficiently with the result:

    • Cost reduction
    • Increase in productivity
    • Predictability
    • Controle
    • Quality increase
    • Certification
    • Shorten lead time

    5S is the base

    The workplace is spick and span and all 5 S's are complied with to the maximum, resulting in a beautiful audit score.

    5S is in the DNA and is woven into the performance of daily work. The focus is on prevention and the discussions are about innovative applications.

    You are ready for the next step: continuous improvement. Take a look at Ci-Company how you can continue to work on the lean principles.

    5S niveau 6

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