How Can You Increase Your Efficiency With The 5S Rule?

09 November 2021 | 4 Minute
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How Can You Increase Your Efficiency With The 5S Rule?

Efficiency is one of the most influential factors on the effectiveness of business processes and company success. There are various factors affecting productivity such as employee satisfaction and work environment. Therefore, there are various methods to increase productivity in today's business life. Companies aim to determine and implement the most suitable method for them by considering the variables such as company culture, working environment, and working model among these methods in order to increase productivity.

The 5S Rule is one of the methods utilized by companies to increase productivity. The 5S Rule is basically aimed to create a quality working environment and to ensure the continuity of this environment. In this article for you, we explained the 5S Rule method in all detail and talked about the benefits for the company.


What is the 5S Rule?

The 5S rule, which appeared in Japan in the 1950s, is a method applied to ensure that the work area is clean, tidy, and fit for its purpose. It is aimed to increase the motivation within the company, to encourage the employees to work as a team and to increase the production and quality values with this method. This method takes its name from the Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke stages that makeup it. The English equivalents of these stages are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardise, Sustain. 

With the 5S rule, basic wastes such as faulty production, excess stock, waiting in the working environment become visible and improvement studies are carried out for the source of the waste. In this process, what, where and how is needed in the working environment is defined and the most efficient working environment is created. In addition to an efficient work environment, the 5S rule is also of great importance in terms of work safety, as it prevents unwanted work accidents.


What Are the Steps of the 5S Rule?

It consists of five basic steps, namely Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke, which give its name to the 5S rule. Each of these steps aims at improvements for different factors in the work environment. We can summarize these stages that make up the 5S rule as follows:


  • Sort (Seiri)

During the sort phase, all unnecessary items, hand tools, equipment that are in the work area but are not needed instantly and create clutter in the work area are classified, labeled, and stored. This stage is important for the other steps of the 5S rule. Especially businesses with limited working environments need to pay more attention to this stage. By applying this stage, employee complaints can be reduced, communication between employees can be strengthened, productivity and product quality can be increased. In cases where this stage is not implemented, the work environment becomes unnecessarily crowded, and unnecessary materials complicate the process flow. In addition, materials that cannot be found in a dispersed work environment are re-purchased and negatively affect the business in terms of both time and finance.


  • Set in Order (Seiton)

In the set in order phase, classification and arrangement are made that will facilitate the finding of materials such as items, hand tools, and equipment that are constantly needed. At this stage, it is determined how much of the materials are needed, where they are located, and methods such as routing, warning lines, and the places where the materials are located are defined. If this process is not carried out properly, the excessive stock is formed and time and energy are lost.


  • Shine (Seiso)

In the shine phase of the 5S rule, both the working environment and the pollution originating from production and machinery are eliminated. At this stage, the psychosocial risk from pollution is reduced and possible health problems are prevented. If the shine phase is not carried out effectively, the motivation of the employees may decrease and the efficiency of the tools and machines used may decrease. As a result, maintenance costs may increase and product quality may decrease. 


  • Standardise (Seiketsu)

In the standardise phase, the required standards, controls, and improvement studies are determined in order to protect and ensure the continuity of the sort, set in order, shine phases. During this phase, the previous steps are controlled and the problems experienced in the previous steps are determined and appropriate improvement studies are carried out.


  • Sustain (Shitsuke)

In the sustain phase, practices such as ensuring the continuity of the current steps, training the employees, announcing the improvement, organizing campaigns, rewarding, and providing incentives are carried out. This phase is a process that connects the other 4 steps. In case this process is carried out effectively, the motivation of the employee's increases, their sense of responsibility develops, their self-confidence increases and their roles are determined.


What are the Benefits of the 5S Rule?

It is aimed to achieve different gains with each of the stages that make up the 5S rule. This method, while increasing efficiency, it also provides benefits to the business in various aspects, from employee motivation to workplace safety. The gains obtained by the application of the 5S rule can basically be divided into two in terms of the producer and the customer. 


The benefits of the 5S rule to the manufacturer and the customer are as follows:

Benefits of the 5S rule to the manufacturer:

  • Machine and vehicle breakdowns are reduced, production performance is increased.
  • Increases employee engagement.
  • It reduces waste and reduces waste-related expenses.
  • Time losses are eliminated.
  • Efficient use of the working environment is ensured.

Benefits of the 5S rule to the customer:

  • Product and service delivery is made on time.
  • Costs can be reduced by increasing operating efficiency.
  • Demands can be met in full.
  • Cycle time may be reduced.


We have explained above for you the 5S rule, which is one of the methods used by companies to increase productivity. However, companies may need different methods to increase efficiency in their business processes and maintain their effectiveness. Sorwe offers new generation solutions for the strategies and methods needed to increase the efficiency of companies. You can contact us for more detailed information about Sorwe solutions for productivity.

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