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Monday, December 8, 2008

5S Housekeeping

5S Housekeeping Is Fundamental

(For 5S Housekeeping at homes, refer: (Housekeeping at Home)
  • 5S Housekeeping is fundamental for enhancing the value for the customer
  • 5S Housekeeping is the foundation for all the organizational systems/processes
    which, in turn, enhance value to customers
5S Housekeeping: A Glance
  • Since early 80’s in Japan
  • Pioneer- Toyota, Japan
  • Systematic approach to good housekeeping
  • People oriented approach: every individual can contribute to improve his workplace
  • Practice oriented approach: cleaner, better, effective and safer workplace
  • 5S stands for the five good housekeeping principles
  • To keep both one’s external and internal house in order, develop a sensitivity for one’s surroundings and a concern for the environment at large
  • A systematic and rational approach to workplace organization and methodical housekeeping with a sense of purpose
  • Workplace becomes cleaner and better organized.
  • Shop floor and office operations become easier and safer.
  • Results are visible to everyone- insiders and outsiders. Problems detected fast.
  • Visibility gives rise to further improvements. Increased number of suggestions.
  • People are disciplined.
  • It instills pride among people.
  • Happier employees with high morale and greater employee involvement.
  • Better use of floor space.
  • Less work in progress and inventories. Less time in material handling.
  • Retrieval time minimized. Better flow of work. More time for improvement activities.
  • Low machine breakdown rate. Low down time. Better preventive maintenance.
  • Low accident rate.
  • High yield of materials.
  • High and consistent product quality. Low overall cost.
  • Company image enhances and generates more business.
Elements of 5S

5S comprises 5 simple steps:
  1. Seiri: Sorting out. Remove unnecessary items as appropriate
  2. Seiton: Systematic arrangement. Prefix a place for every thing and put every thing in place (Read the article titled Be Tidy and Get Back Your Lost One Third of Life at
  3. Seiso: Spic and span. Cleaning not for beautification alone but with a sense of purpose.
  4. Seiketsu: Serene atmosphere/sanitizing. Environmental cleanliness.
    Standardization. Develop standards/evaluation criteria.
  5. Shitsuke: Self discipline/training. Create awareness of all 4Ss and train to implement.
You may also refer:

Steps to Implement the 5 Elements of 5S


•Classification- sort out
•Elimination- remove unnecessary items as appropriate
•Storage- frequent use/rare use items
- close location/distant location
- identification of items
•Fix responsibilities and share responsibilities
•Monitor progress

Rough Criteria for Seiri

•Not used for a year- Check and throw
•Used only once in last 6 to 12 months- Store at a distance
•Used only once in last 1 to 6 months- Store at a central place in the work area
•Used weekly/hourly/daily- Store near work site

Seiri: Obstacles

Seiri is not as easy to practice as it seems
•It is wasteful to throw things away
•We might possibly use them later
•It was so much trouble for me to make these things
•I know it is not used but it is in good condition, let it be there
•I want every thing here. I may use these any time, I can’t tell when. So don’t remove any thing
•If you think it is “such a waste to throw it away”, we can’t get started


(Read the article tiltled Be Tidy and Get Back Your Lost One Third of Life at

•Ensure rational layout of machines, equipment, cabinets
•Place frequently used items at the point of use
•Prefix a place for every thing and put every thing in place
•Use labels, color codes to identify
•Use index for files, records and drawings
•Plan storage with easy irretrievability
•Mixed up items in cabinets should be organized
•Make cabinets, shelves, racks self explanatory through identification aids
•Have visual controls for checking missing items


•Develop standards of cleaning
•Clean up work place, machines and tools after use
•Clean up supply line (no leakage, blockage, clogging with oil/dirt
•Assign responsibilities and schedules for cleaning
•Clean waste bins at end of shift/day
•Clean light bulbs, fans, shades, reflectors
•Pay special attention to scrap yard, gardens, godowns

•Scrap and chips from machines could fall directly in to collecting bins


•Identify 5 S areas
•Develop standards/evaluation criteria with workmen (SOP’s and housekeeping standards)
•Establish checking procedure 5W + 1H
•Establish feedback procedure 5W + 1H
•Wear neat and clean uniform
•Wear protective clothing
•Provide adequate lighting, ventilation, exhaust
•Check electrical wiring, cables, switches
•Maintain sanitary/hygienic conditions in wash rooms, locker rooms, canteen and kitchen
•Earmark smoking and eating areas
•Look for heavy noise, vibrations and heat in machines, analyze for root cause and take action
•Create visual control systems
•Devise ways to expose hidden problems
•Create standards


•Create awareness of first 4 S’s
•Develop action details for maintaining standards
•Make them easily understandable
•Give specific directions
•Display correct work procedure on the floor
•Correct deviations on the spot
•Maintain punctuality
•Conduct audits
•Demonstrate sincerity in following rules
•Share success to enthuse others

Consequences of Not Practicing 5S


•The unwanted clutters up the place and the wanted is hard to find
•More time spent for searching things
•More space required
•We can’t bring in new things in the same place
•Causes mis-identification and rejected parts are moved to work station


•Things are seldom available when needed. More time spent for locating misplaced things
•Defective and good items/similar looking items get mixed up
•Items are lost
•Prone to accidents
•Loss of production
•Excess inventory
•Pressure for more space


•Dust and dirt will affect the machine performance
•Cleaning reveals hidden problems which may get overlooked otherwise
•Dust and dirt affect performance and aesthetic quality
•Unpleasant work place

Five Levels of 5 S Housekeeping

•Housekeeping of one’s inner self
•Following the 5 S principles and reducing waste
•Extending the 5 S concept to include ergonomics
•Extending the 5 S concept to include aesthetics
•Maintaining records and educating others

Stages of 5S Housekeeping

Stage 1: Floor is full of unwanted material
Stage 2: Clutter found by the walls
Stage 3: Factory/office is clean but tools, papers, files and materials dis-organized
Stage 4: Storage area/offices are clean and furniture, documents, material organized
Stage 5: Factory/office is immaculate

Critical Factors/Steps in Implementing 5S
  • Top /Senior Management commitment
  • Leadership by location heads
  • Awareness training programs for all employees
  • Launching of 5S program
  • Allocation of funds
  • Identification on 5S areas
  • Team formation involving employees
  • Developing standards
  • Developing checklists
  • Guidance, training, sorting out problems
  • Developing audit check lists
  • Publishing audit results
  • Reviewing audit findings, follow up corrective actions
  • Holding competitions- awards
Implementation Methodology
  • All employees to undergo 5 S Housekeeping training
  • A vision statement to be evolved and started with all employees
  • Divide the organization into convenient zones
  • Divide each zone in to convenient sub-zones
  • Decide on date(s) for launching 5 S in each zone, sub-zone
  • Take pledge (refer the section titled "5S Pledge" for couple of formats of the pledge as examples. they can be customized to your requirements)
  • Apply 5 S principles step by step
  • Form audit teams
  • Carry out audits
5S Pledge

Examples of Pledge Formats:

Example 1: It shall be my (our) constant effort to maintain my workplace in an excellent order by sorting out unwanted material periodically and discarding them, assigning a place for everything and keeping everything in its place and keeping my workplace neat and clean all the time everyday.

Example 2: It shall be my (our) endeavour to delight our customers (or internal and external customers) by adhering to the standards of putting things in order and maintaining cleanliness at our workplace.

Criteria for Good Housekeeping Award
  • Space occupied
  • Ease of retrieval
  • Ingenious storing methods
  • Waste elimination
  • Aesthetics
5 S Audit
  • Form an audit team for each zone consisting of 4-5 members. The members should belong to that zone. One member may belong to another zone so as to maintain impartiality.
  • Auditing should be carried out once a month or once in two months based on a carefully prepared check list.
An Example of Auditor’s Check List

•Documents maintained as per retention plan : 10 points
•Other items at assigned places : 10 points
•Innovative methods of storage/visual display system: 5 points
•Cleanliness/hygiene : 5 points
•Space released : 5 points
•Reporting of waste reduction : 5 points
•Aesthetic aspect : 10 points
•Safety aspect : 15 points
Auditee’s personal appearance : 5 points
•Layout : 5 points
•Lighting level : 5 points
•Noise level : 5 points
•Temperature/humidity : 5 points
•General ergonomics : 10 points

What Various Practitioners Say about 5S Housekeeping
  • 5S Housekeeping is literally the work place management.
  • It is pre-requisite for world class manufacturing practices.
  • It is an ideal housekeeping system and beyond. 
  • 5S is doing away with unwanted things and waste reduction.
  • 5S Housekeeping is keeping things in their respective places without any one's supervision.
  • It paves way for almost zero retrieval time situation.
  • It is keeping the work place spic and span.
  • It is keen inspection.
  • 5S is about adopting standards for sustenance.
  • It provides for good service practices.
  • It is a habit and not just a one time or intermittent action.
  • It is an attitude and not an audit or policing.
  • In a way 5S should become the work culture.
  • It promotes safety of high order.
  • It adds confidence.
  • It subtracts pain.
  • It multiplies productivity.
  • It divides pleasure among all.
For everything you wanted to know on building leadership and management, refer Shyam Bhatawdekar’s website

(Refer our High Quality Management Encyclopedia “Management Universe” at:

We advise you also to read other related topics of Japanese Management Systems at URLs given below:

(A to Z of Quality Techniques)
(Total Quality Management- TQM)
(Total Productive Maintenance- TPM
(Quality Function Deployment- QFD and House of Quality)
(Quality Gurus)
(Cost of Quality- COQ
(Gemba Kaizen
(Quality Circles)
(Quality Circles History)
(Just in Time Management- JIT

Books Suggested for Your Professional, Organization's and Personal Library (the following books are available as printed books (paperback) and as eBooks online from Amazon) 

Management, Business, Self-help and Personality Development Books

1. HSoftware (Human Software) (The Only Key to Higher Effectiveness)
2. Sensitive Stories of Corporate World (Management Case Studies)
3. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
4. Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers (Volume 2)
5. Classic Team Building Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
6. 101 Classic Management Games, Exercises, Energizers and Icebreakers
7. Stress? No Way!! (Handbook on Stress Management)
8. HSoftware (Shyam Bhatawdekar’s Effectiveness Model)
9. Competency Management (Competency Matrix and Competencies)
10. Soft Skills You Can’t Do Without (Goal Setting, Time Management, Assertiveness and Anger Management)
11. Essentials of Work Study (Method Study and Work Measurement)
12. Essentials of Time Management (Taking Control of Your Life)
13. Essentials of 5S Housekeeping
14. Essentials of Quality Circles
15. Essentials of Goal Setting
16. Essentials of Anger Management
17. Essentials of Assertive Behavior
18. Essentials of Performance Management & Performance Appraisal
19. Health Essentials (Health Is Wealth)
20. The Romance of Intimacy (How to Enhance Intimacy in a Relationship?)

Novels, Stories, Biographies and Travelogues

21. The Peace Crusaders (Novel: how the peace crusaders established permanent peace on a war strewn planet?)
22. Love Knows No Bounds (Novel: a refreshingly different love story. Also available with the title “Good People”)
23. Funny (and Not So Funny) Short Stories
24. Stories Children Will Love (Volume 1: Bhanu-Shanu-Kaju-Biju and Dholu Ram Gadbad Singh)
25. My Father (Biography)
26. Travelogue: Scandinavia, Russia
27. Travelogue: Europe
For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


The training on "5S Housekeeping" is imparted by Mr Shyam Bhatawdekar and/or Dr (Mrs) Kalpana Bhatawdekar of Prodcons Group who are renowned management educationists and consultants with distinction of having trained more than 150,000 people in around 250 organizations. Implementation of "5S housekeeping" is also facilitated by the team of Prodcons Group.
Also refer:,,

Other Topics of Interest

All Management Topics (General Management, Marketing and Sales, Service, Operations/Manufacturing, Quality, Maintenance, Human Resources, Finance and Accounts, Information Technology, Life Management)

The topics are listed in alphabetic order:

(Home Pages for All the Management Topics) and
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(Alphabetic List of All Management Topics)
(Home Page for Writings of Shyam Bhatawdekar)
(5S Housekeeping)
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