5S or good housekeeping involves the principle of waste elimination through workplace organization. 5S was derived from the Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. In English, they can be roughly translated as sort, set in order, clean, standardize, and sustain. The cornerstone of 5S is that untidy, cluttered work areas are not productive. As well as the physical implications of junk getting in everybody’s way and dirt compromising quality, we all are happier in a clean, tidy environment and hence more inclined to work hard with due care and attention. 5S and good housekeeping are core elements of lean thinking and a visual workplace and are a fundamental platform for world-class manufacturing.
5S provides the foundation for all quality improvement programs. It is a process to create more productive people and more productive companies through motivation, education, and practice. It involves the creation of a strong corporate culture with a productivity mindset.
See also: Kaizen; Toyota Production System; Lean Production System