Skip to content


Posted in Lean Manufacturing

About 5S – Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke

By Eris Kusnadi


For those of you who have interacted with the world of factories, of course, you are not familiar with the 5S term. Factories that make the 5S program will look clean and orderly. They think a messy situation will hide the problem. The 5S program seen as trying to reproduce the problem that had been hidden from fixers ( problem solver ).

At present, the 5S program has been widely adopted by various industries in various countries. 5S popularity is not separated from the success of Japanese industry has focused on reduction all waste ( waste ). 5S is the basis for shaping human behavior so that it has a habit of reducing waste at work.

The 5S program was first introduced in Japan as a movement determination to organize sorting ( seiri ), arrangement ( seiton ), cleaning ( seiso ), safeguarding solid conditions ( seiketsu ), and self-awareness of the habits needed to carry out work properly ( shitsuke ). Each S in the 5S along with the explanation explained below.

1S – Seiri

Seiri is the first step in implementing 5S, namely: sorting out useful and useless items:

  • Useful items => Saved
  • Useless items => discarded

In this first step is the term Red Tag Strategy , namely marking the goods that are not useful with the red label ( red tag ) become easily distinguished from the goods that are still useful. Items with a red label are then removed from the workplace. The more lean (lean) workplace of goods that are not needed, the more efficient the workplace will be.

2S – Seiton

Seiton is the second step after sorting, namely: structuring useful items that are easy to find, and safe, and given indications.
In the second step, it is known as the Signboard Strategy , which is to put items that are useful neatly and regularly and then give sign or explanation of the place, the name of the item, and how many items so that the items will be easily and quickly accessed. The signboard strategy reduces waste in the form of a pacing movement looking for items.


3S – Seiso

Seiso is the third step after structuring, namely: cleaning items that has arranged neatly so as not become dirty, including workplaces and the environment and machinery, both breakdown machines and in the context of preventive maintenance (PM) programs .
As much as possible the work place made of clean and shining like an exhibition room so that the work environment is healthy and comfortable to prevent work motivation that comes down due to dirty and messy workplaces.

4S – Seiketsu

Seiketsu is the next step after seiri , seiton , and seiso , namely: safeguarding a neat and clean working environment into a standard of work. The conditions that has reached  seiri , seiton , and seiso should standardized. These standards should easily understood, implemented to all members of the organization, and checked regularly and periodically.

5S – Shitsuke

Shitsuke is the last step, namely self-awareness of work ethics:

  1. Discipline towards standards
  2. Mutual respect
  3. Shame about committing a violation
  4. Glad to make improvements


The success of 5S lies in the extent to which people do 5S as a habit than coercion so that improvement initiatives will emerge on their own. Below I have summarized the important things for implementation of the 5S program based on some literature and personal perspective when watching live 5S activities at work.


Requires involvement / participation of all people in organizations from the upper level to the lower level.

Requires management commitment to make sure that activities bring out every day and consider a priority.

The change perspective of everyone in the organization is more than just a cleaning and housekeeping management program.

The 5S implementation is consistent for cultural change.

Using a visual display system to communicate 5S activities effectively.

Perform 5S audits regularly (weekly, monthly, and surprise audits) to assess performance.

It covers the concepts and advantages of 5S activities.

In closing, I would like to quote from the article prepared by Utomo (2011).


5S is not difficult to understand, but 5S is very difficult to make correctly. 5S requires persistence, determination, and requires a continuous effort. 5S may not produce dramatic results. But 5S makes it easier. 5S will cut waste of our work time. 5S will make us proud of our work. 5S will improve work productivity and better quality, little by little, but continuously.