By the
Mind Tools
Editorial Team

The 5S System

Reducing Waste and Increasing Productivity


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Get organized for greater efficiency.

How organized is your office or organization? Many people would say, "Not very organized at all"!

For example, you might have a messy desk, stacks of files that have no place to go, and a team that spends a great deal of time searching for the tools and resources that they need to get their jobs done.

Disorganization not only wastes time, but also lowers productivity and morale.

That's why it's worth spending time to reorganize your office, department, or organization. Even small improvements can have a very positive impact on overall productivity.

In this article, we develop some of the ideas in our piece on Lean Manufacturing by taking a detailed look at the 5S System. This is a methodical approach for reducing waste, and improving efficiency and productivity in any space – whether it's a small office, your desk, or a huge manufacturing facility.

The 5S System

The 5S System originated in Japan as part of kaizen . Its purpose is to create a safe, clean, and well-organized workplace. Although it was developed for manufacturing, the system can be used in any environment to improve efficiency and reduce waste.

The five steps are based on five Japanese words:...

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