5S Benefits

What are the benefits you can realize by executing the 5S methodology?

By Andy Pritchard | November 9, 2022 | 2 minute read.

Aside from the cultural shift towards lean manufacturing that quick 5S wins can bring for your teams, there are over 50 years of well documented benefits worth discussing. 5S methodology will bring you improvements in productivity, safety, waste reduction, employee engagement, and staff morale.

1) Improved Safety

Improved cleanliness and organization in the workplace will reduce workplace injuries by eliminating slips, falls, and other common accidents. You can limit travel through areas that contain hazardous chemicals, thus reducing exposure. Fewer workplace injuries have other productivity benefits that will improve the overall ROI of your plant such as fewer OSHA issues, reduced insurance costs, and improving employee morale.


2) Improved Productivity

When your staff is unable to find the tools or materials they need because of clutter, inefficient workspace design, or missing items, they stop working to find it. This is wasted time and loss of productivity. By making the right tools and materials easily available while removing unhelpful ones you can help your staff stay focused on the highest value activities while they work.

3) Better Staff Morale and Engagement 

While your lean or continuous improvement committee may have oversight of your 5S project, ultimately it’s your workers who will be responsible for providing insight and expertise on how best to implement 5S principles. Who better to determine unnecessary materials or how best to streamline tool placement than the people who use that work space every day? By engaging and empowering your staff to be actively involved in 5S you give them a sense of ownership, increasing job satisfaction and reducing absenteeism.


4) Reduce Waste

Waste in manufacturing has many forms - time, materials, motion, and energy - and 5S is geared towards reducing them all. Streamlined tools and materials in the right place and free of clutter reduce wasted time and motion. Improved work processes may contribute to higher product quality, lowering the number of defects produced in your plant. As part of your 5S process you may also want to consider the overall layout of your plant. Streamlining work processes between workstations  can reduce worker downtime waiting for parts or instructions, unnecessary transportation of parts and materials, or underutilized floorspace.

MIDC Abernath Case Study

MIDC Abernath is a leading small-scale manufacturer of filtration systems including air, cartridge, sand, and strainer filters in India. This company was relatively new to lean concepts, but felt too much time was wasted in machine setup and equipment handling. Employees were working in dirty, messy, and uncomfortable environments and storerooms were full of unused and unnecessary materials. This made it hard to find the proper tools when they were needed, and had a negative effect on staff morale.

5S Strategy

MIDC Abernath decided to launch a full 5S process to help remove excess materials from their storage rooms and sort remaining materials and equipment in a more logical fashion. They set up a new scrap section outside of their facility to remove clutter. New modular storage was installed with clearly marked sections for their various equipment and arranged according to size, use etc. They did a full clean of the factory, including all of their machinery, and installed new lighting. To help maintain their new standards they prepared audit sheets and specific work instructions for employees, store keepers, engineers, and managers.


The company had a two-pronged strategy to measure the results of their 5S efforts. The first was to score process effectiveness before and after the 5S audit including material searching time, safety, and working efficiency. They observed that there was an overall 20% increase in productivity around these specific process areas. The second was to measure the overall production time required to produce a strainer component. They observed a 5% reduction in overall production time, allowing them to produce more units which they estimate will have a positive effect on the company’s bottom line.

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Why is 5S important?

5S is often one of the first lean manufacturing processes companies implement on their continuous improvement journey.

Step-by-Step Facility-wide Implementation Roadmap

The phases of implementation including the objectives, step-by-step execution strategies, resource necessities, and timeline estimations for each phase.

Practical Guide to 5S Sorting

How to effectively identify and remove unnecessary items from workstations to radically enhance productivity.

Overview of 5S Methodology

The 5S System is a lean manufacturing tool designed to improve efficiency and productivity in your plant by making it more organized and efficient.

How to Sustain with 5S Auditing

Practical guide to sustaining 5S and continuously improving workstation productivity.

How to Standardize in 5S

Ensure processes, procedures, and practices adhere to a defined standard, facilitating consistency and predictability in manufacturing.

How to Shine in 5S

A Practical Guide to Ensuring Workstations are Clean and Standardized for Success.

How to execute the 5S Set in Order Step

Practical guide for enhancing workstation orderliness to increase productivity, efficiency and employee engagement.

How to create a 5S Audit Checklist

The phases of implementation including the objectives, step-by-step execution strategies, resource necessities, and timeline estimations for each phase.

How does 5S work?

The 5S methodology is built on 5 easy to remember steps that have a natural flow to them as each step builds upon the success of the last.