The Ultimate Guide to 5S Audit

No doubt, implementing 5S has become the norm in many industries. Whether you’re a startup or an established business looking to streamline operations, this methodology is a great way to get started. 

But why is 5S Audit so important? 

To put it simply, it takes out unnecessary chaos from your workplace. The 5 systematic strategies under 5S Audit (sort, systematize, shine, standardize, and sustain) help clean up your work area, place things accurately and track how often they are used. 

If you want to know more about 5S Audits and how organizations implement them in their workplaces, we have got you covered.  

What is a 5S Audit?

A 5S Audit is an organizational change initiative that focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. 

The five elements are space, sequence, standards, steps, and signals.

1. Space: This element refers to the layout of the work area and how it impacts the flow of work.

For example, is there enough storage available? Are tools in easy reach? Is the workspace clean and organized?

2. Sequence: This element concerns the way work is done and how it should be done. 

For example, is a process followed correctly from beginning to end? Are steps being completed in the correct order?

3. Standard: This element sets guidelines for how an organization should do its work. 

For example, what is the average amount of time it takes to complete a task? What are the acceptable levels of quality?

4. Steps: The steps element describes how tasks should be performed.

For example, what are the appropriate tools and equipment needed to complete a task? What are the standard steps to take when performing a task? 

5. Signal: This element alerts people when something needs their attention.

For example, flashing lights might indicate that someone needs help with a task or that a machine requires  to be restarted.

The best way to implement these above steps is through digital checklists. Why? Because they reduce the time as well as increase the accuracy with which you can collect data and promote orderliness and safety across all your divisions or departments. 

Before diving into its implementation, let’s see what steps come under the 5S Audit Checklist. 

What is a 5S Audit Checklist?

A 5S Audit Checklist is a great way to help you keep your work area clean and organized.

Major Benefits of Digital Checklists

The 5S Audit Checklist is made up of five simple steps:

1. Sweep – clean any areas visible to someone walking by, such as under tables and chairs, near the door, and along the walls.

2. Sort – put all items into their correct location, based on their function or use. This will help you find what you are looking for quickly.

3. Sauge – clean surfaces with a disinfectant such as alcohol or a diluted bleach solution.

4. Set in Place – position shelves, files, and other items so that they are stable and easy to access.

5. Shine – clean surfaces with a soft cloth or a light polish to keep them looking new.

3 Simple Steps to Implement 5S in Your Workspace

Originally developed by Hiroyuki Hirano for manufacturing companies in Japan, the principles of 5S translate well to any work environment.  

So, let’s learn about 3 quick and practical implementation strategies for 5S auditing that will not only give you a competitive edge but also reduce costs and increase the efficiency of your staff. 

Step #1: Make a Plan

Be mindful of the 5S principles when you plan and make a habit of carrying out each step through every stage of your writing process.

  1. See how 5S can help you create a more organized and tidy workspace.
  2. Look for wasteful processes in a 5S audit.
  3. Find the root cause of every 5S audit issue.
  4. Develop a list of standards to follow.
  5. Follow the steps in the 5S audit.

Step #2: Bring Action

Implement 5S by assigning a trained employee or a team of workers to do the following on a weekly basis:

  1. Take a photo of the current state of your worksite.
  2. Determine the frequency of use and if it’s still essential or outdated. Sort items needed and to be disposed of.
  3. Group your items according to use and function. Apply labels and use a color-coding scheme for easy sorting.
  4. 5S Audit: Follow the steps to ensure your workspace is clean and organized.
  5. Review the tasks that could not be completed the previous day. For items, you find difficult to dispose of, establish an action plan for handling them . This can include selling, donating, recycling, or throwing out  items.
  6. For review purposes, take a photo of the workspace before and after changes to see the results.

Step #3: Monitor

Area supervisors should do monthly and quarterly audits to make sure that 5S standards are met. If something is found to be out of place, you can use audits to track the items and figure out if something needs repairing or has been lost.

Boost 5S Performance from the Ground Up

The 5S philosophy is one of the most successful management tools out there today. It has been widely adopted by organizations all over the world as a way to improve workplace productivity and consistency.

Sort: Everything should be sorted and in its place before starting work. This includes your desk, file folders, desks, cabinets, and plants.

Set-up: Everything needs to be put in the right spot before you start working. This includes your computer, phone, pens, paper, etc.

State: Everything needs to be in the correct state before you start working. This includes the area around you (clean desk, clean room), and your equipment (put away tools).

Store: Once you are finished working, everything needs to be stored properly so it does not take up space again. This includes putting away your materials, cleaning  your workspace, and locking your door/file cabinet.

Increase Your Team’s Efficiency Through 5s Training

5S audit is a process of systematically reviewing and improving the performance of individuals within an organization. Through 5s training, you can help your team become more efficient and effective.

5s training is a simple but powerful process that can help your team improve their performance. The five steps of 5s training are:

  1. Start with a clear goal.
  2. Clarify the task at hand.
  3. Sustain attention to the task.
  4. Sequencing tasks to achieve goals.
  5. Resetting and recommitting to the task.

We hope you got a good overview of how implementing the 5S audit could help your workplace stay organized and orderly while keeping your employees’ morale high. 

If you are on the hunt for a robust 5S Audit Checklist App, you may check our end-to-end solution for fast and effective 5S audit inspections. 

Here’s a 5S Audit Checklist For Your Organization

Are you looking to improve your workplace efficiency and effectiveness? Get Axonator’s highly customizable 5S audit checklist to create an organized and productive shop floor. 

Axonator’s 5S audit checklist app can help you inspect and identify items for your business. The checklist will enable your employees and supervisors to:

  • Capture pictures, add annotations, and monitor processes to achieve operational excellence.
  • Share compliance reports in PDF, Word, CSV or Excel formats with team members in real-time.
  • Perform checks on whether all tools, equipment, and other things are grouped by purpose, type, location, and storage using digital checklists.

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