The Importance of 5S

Many manufacturing facilities have opted to follow the path towards a “5S” workplace organizational methodology as part of a continuous improvement program or lean manufacturing process. The 5S system is part of Toyota’s Lean Manufacturing methodology designed to reduce waste within your facility.


5S is typically the first step towards eliminating waste from manufacturing processes and eventually leads to improving bottom line results. There are five pillars in 5S, which stand for: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. The goal of a 5S program is to get products closer to operations and workers, organized and labeled to eliminate wasted time and materials.

The 5S philosophy is “a place for everything and everything in its place,” is the mantra of UNEX Pickologists. We help you find the right storage solution that eliminates wasted time, wasted space and wasted inventory.

The end result of a 5S implementation is a significant reduction in space needed for existing operations. Workers improve their workspaces by cleaning and organizing them. Tools and materials are labeled and stored in organized storage locations. Shelving and racks optimize the storage of items in a smaller footprint, helping to improve the order picking process by eliminating the need to search for items.

5 Pillars:
• Sort – Remove all items not needed, leaving only the bare essentials. This saves time, space and labor costs, while enhancing productivity.
• Set in Order – Arrange items so they are easy to use; label items so anyone can find them or put them back in the right location. This eliminates wasted time from excess motion and searching.
• Shine – Keep everything clean, every day. Doing this keeps things ready to be used when needed.
• Standardize – Ensure conditions of work area do not return to the original, disorganized state.
• Sustain – Make a habit of properly maintaining correct procedures to avoid backsliding.

Implementing 5S raises product quality and improves work productivity, resulting in lower costs and higher efficiencies. UNEX is laser-focused on helping clients improve their manufacturing processes with lean principles. Our solutions minimize waste while increasing efficiencies. Contact a UNEX Pickologist today and we’ll help you get started!