Once you have identified the items that are required in an area, the second phase of the 5S program is to Straighten and Organise. Equipment and items that are required for production or work should be stored in a location that is as close to the place they are required as possible. This saves time in locating the item and performing the work.

It’s important to store tools and equipment correctly so they are out of the way and so that accidents and breakages are minimised. Part of this process may be having purpose-built shelving or racks designed to maximise and streamline storage.

The goal of this phase is to make the most commonly used equipment easy to locate. Over one week, this can shave hours from production time. Items that are needed less frequently can be stored away from the main workspace to avoid clutter.

5s – Labels and signage 

Clearly marking shelves and storage areas increases efficiency because items will be much easier to find, especially for new staff or for items that are used less frequently. Create a standard for each area to refer to for identifying the location of every item. A visual standard is usually the best way to quickly identify where things belong and it should be obvious if something is missing or out of place,.

Fresh look

Using people from other sections to advise on improvements can really help. We can often be blind to obvious improvements when we work in a situation daily. A fresh set of eyes that are familiar with the work required may assist in identifying improvements to the way an area is organised.