5S Lean Methodology

With Organization, Comes Empowerment.

When it comes to storage and keeping business under control, most of the time, people tend to be inattentive or, as a matter of fact, lazy. Usually a workplace will become more and more disorganized over time, especially when employees and managers are busy. This becomes stressful for workers who need to find a specific product, which ends up lost or misplaced.

Do you wonder as to how you should you maintain your space and organize your merchandise, in an effective manner? As your solution source, Westmount believes that the 5S Lean system, is a very effective system to bring efficiency to your organization, and we have the products to help you.

What is 5S Lean? What Does it Stand For?

The 5S Lean is a methodology to improve efficiencies and enhance operational excellence. Essentially, it is a structure to have a workplace cleaned, organized, stress-free and improves work environment and balance. Not only is the 5S Lean about cleanliness and organization, it helps improve and maximize profit, involves the practice of removing waste, implement visual identification, and have efficient use of space.

Down below is an example of how the 5S Lean works.

5S or Five S, originated from the Japanese terms that describes the steps of the 5S visual management. All of the terms, starts with an S.

In Japanese, the 5S’s are:
1. Seiri
2. Seiton
3. Seiso
4. Seiketsu
5. Shitsuke

In English, the 5S’s are translated to:
1. Sort
2. Set in Order
3. Shine
4. Standardize
5. Sustain

Definitions and Steps of The 5S

1. Sort

The first step is to organize the work space areas, leaving only with tools and materials that are needed to perform daily activities.

  • Use storage bins to sort and separate materials, keeping only the essential items needed to complete tasks.
  • Bins featuring large hopper front give easy access and faster picking.
  • Bins are available in multiple sizes and colors for total visualization
  • Using clear transparent bins provides maximum visibility and easier identification to find specific products.
  • Shelf bins and totes can fit on new or existing shelving systems.

2. Set in Order

Ensure that all items and materials are organized to their assigned and designated place. This will be easy for those to reach, and have in plain sight. Grab n Go.


  • Work areas should be organized in a way that makes the most efficient use of shelving, racks, counter areas and floor space. This utilizes to keep items within reach and sight.
  • Hanging and stacking bins, shelf bins and totes let you store items used together close to each other.
  • Keeping components organized will eliminate waste in production.
  • Use labels to assign both bins and space on the shelves to control and ensure that the items are returned in their place.
  • Color Coded Bins come into play and give a quick identification of items, separates materials and items to prevent cross-contamination.

3. Shine

Prevent the accumulation of dirt and dust. Construct a cleaning and maintenance schedule to protect parts and equipment.

  • Organize materials and store securely with lids to keep them clean and protected.
  • Grid containers have dividers which is an option to customize compartments for items. They have optional lids to keep dust and debris out.
  • Plastic products are resistant to oils, chemicals and weak acids. (AK-West Inc. Products)
  • Maintaining a clean and newly organized work space.
  • Drawer bins with enclosed shelving systems can help keep supplies and materials, to be secure and clean.

4. Standardize:

Create a set of standards and benchmarks for both organization and processes. This takes the first three S’s and make rules for how and when these tasks will be performed.

  • Prevent running out of stock on inventory by implementing a Kanban system.
    • Indicate with two-tone bins to simplify and grab a visual recognition on which supplies need to be restored and replenished.
  • Create schedules, charts, and lists to accumulate and keep in check to be organized.

5. Sustain:

  • Reinforce and evaluate best practices that will keep waste out of the process and provide a solid foundation in the work flow and organization for future improvements
  • Plastic and steel material handling products promote effective storage, organization, and transport systems to boost efficiency
  • Reduces costs in any work environment

The Benefits of 5S Lean

  1. Saves time and money (reduces inventory cost)
  2. Provides a healthy work environment, creating extra work space
  3. Eliminates waste and redundancies
  4. Helps find materials, product and inventory faster; using the standardized color-coded sorting system
  5. Encourages and boosts employee morale
  6. Workplace safety increases
  7. Ensures that improvements remain intact and constant
  8. Reduces stress and anxiety on heavy business days
  9. Makes a better impression for work flow

Contact Westmount to Get Started on
5S Lean Today in Your Business!

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