Find out how to apply the 5S methodology to your company’s quality control – WAU

The 5S methodology is focused on organizing companies and achieving total quality. The 5S is based on Seiri (use), Seiton (organization), Seiso (cleaning),
Seiketsu (normalization) and Shitsuke (discipline).

Organizing a company is a task that requires more strategic action, considering several stages of optimization. To achieve this, the 5s method (quality control) it has been one of the most used by companies.

It works in a practical way, directing efforts at five different levels, with the objective of making the company reach a high level of performance.

Naturally, working on the optimization of each of these parameters brings positive results. Several advantages can be realized by the organizations that apply the 5s method.

In this post you will learn about what it is and how to execute it! Discover the 5 work bases, what they bring to the organization of the company and see what benefits are reaped at the end!

What is 5S and how did it come about?

The 5s is a method aimed at organization of companies, at various structural levels. In general, the proposal is that it works with the resources it needs, that it preserves employees, that it is always clean and that it remains at a good level of productivity. The biggest curiosity is due to the moment when the 5s (quality control) appeared.

Japan had just come out of Second World War, historical moment that left deep marks in the country, including structurally. The proposal was to rise again as a nation after this episode, mainly due to the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also to move economically to become the great power that it is today.

The methodology, from that moment, started to be applied in several sectors of the Japanese society, having prominence in large companies. Because of this new attitude towards the management of companies, development based on rigorous methods was possible.

Thus, the results were very positive. Even having to deal with the general restructuring, Japan has managed to move forward and today it is one of the nations that most inspire the world.

Therefore, the 5s method (quality control) has stimuli closely linked to Japanese culture, especially with regard to subject.

And, despite being a very simple tool, its effectiveness happens because it was designed to bring concrete results. This is precisely what makes the 5s method so widely used worldwide, going far beyond the factory floor, where its use began.

How does this method work?

The origin of the name of the 5s method is inspired by 5 terms that give rise to its pillars. Are they:

  • Seiri (sense of use);
  • Seiton (sense of organization);
  • Seiso (sense of cleanliness);
  • Seiketsu (sense of normalization);
  • Shitsuke (sense of discipline).

These principles are applied in companies with the proposal to establish quality control based on oriental culture. Next, better understand what each step of the 5s is capable of applying in the organization of companies.


The Sense of use is an important parameter for companies to be able to organize your resources. In this stage, the work revolves around drying as much as possible what is used, from papers to basic equipment to activities.

The idea is to reduce the use of these materials as much as possible, generating savings, freeing up storage space and making an intelligent management. All this work revolves around the questioning what is still needed by the company.

Often, old documents still take up a lot of file space, for example. In this sense, the digital transformation has brought even more possibilities to work on this aspect in your company, mainly through digitalization. As a result, the company will have fewer items to manage, which results in greater productivity.


In the 5s (quality control) the organization it is also one of the pillars for companies, in this case, treated in Seiton. The method preaches that it is necessary for the work environment is organized, facilitating the performance of employees. Therefore, the sectors must be properly arranged, with tables, compartments and cabinets suitable and presentable for work.

The organization is seen as one of the foundations of success for a company, so Seiton values ​​applying this idea in all locations of the business. It is necessary to list objects to create stocks that are easy to manage. They must also be organized, separating items by names and categories. On tables, only objects used frequently, avoiding clutter.


Seiso is the pillar that deals with cleaning. The eastern people believe that this element is more than a matter of hygiene. It directly impacts the location and can provide a productivity and high performance environment.

The idea is that keeping the workplace clean is everyone’s responsibility, not just focusing on the team that has this role. Each employee must have a supervisory role to the co-worker, in addition to maintain good practices that preserve the company’s cleanliness.

This ranges from proper waste disposal to proactivity in not keeping material that must be disposed of. In addition, Seiso also values ​​good personal appearance, requiring proper hygiene and a correct presentation at work.

You may be interested in these other content on management and productivity!
Eisenhower Matrix: learn how to prioritize your tasks
5W2H: what it is, advantages and how to apply it in your business
Strategic analysis: learn how to do with these 5 techniques
GUT Matrix: know what it is, what it is for and how to assemble your
BASICO Matrix: learn how to prioritize projects in your company!


Good practices go beyond good ideas and their suggestions. The 5s (quality control) will only work well with the perpetuation of practices, and that’s exactly what Seiketsu brings.

This pillar has the proposal of normalize ideas already seen so far, with a focus on organization, cleanliness and good use of resources. Only in this way is it possible to actually implement these new customs, making them fixed.

For this, the company needs to define rules and inspection routines for the pillars already promoted. The idea is that everything is really practiced, becoming an integral part of the company’s culture.

The new values ​​are duly observed and there must be work to reinforce these ideas. This ensures that employees understand the importance of these bases and execute them on a daily basis.


Shitksuke can be considered a value of continuity, quite related to Seiketsu. He especially values ​​the support to the employee, so that he can continue to follow the 5s.

Here, the proposal is to establish new practices in the daily life of the company, but doing so through training. All support and instruction must be given for the results to be obtained.

Training, lectures, announcements and other resources should be used at this stage. Thus, employees will be able to understand the importance of practices.

The continuous approach to these themes also means that these bases are never forgotten. In parallel to this support, it is important that companies carry out regular assessments. This helps to understand the evolution before the 5s bases.

What are the advantages of using 5s in a company?

The application of 5s (quality control) has broad advantages for companies. They can be seen from the increase in productivity to the improvement of employee engagement. Next, understand better how this method makes companies work better!

Operations are made easier

Better use of resources, cleaning and organization of work environments facilitate the practice of different activities of a company. With best possible conditions, operations are facilitated at all levels and sectors of a company. Employees have perfect working conditions, reducing any impediments.

The level of productivity is increased

Productivity is one of the factors resulting from the application of 5s (quality control). With suitable methods, the company is able to have greater focus on core business activities.

Each of these bases proposed by the method, including continuity, makes the workplace more conducive to good results. Productivity is a natural consequence for the company.

The workplace is more inviting

Employees also need good workplaces to feel engaged and able to perform their duties well. With the pillars of cleanliness and organization, the sectors are more inviting and allow the worker to perform his role without problems. They are places where the practice of the function is done in simpler and less tiring ways.

Operation safety is achieved

Employees also need safety in the performance of their positions. The organization helps to maintain good working methods, distancing employees from any type of accident.

This ensures, in addition to preserving health, productivity, since tasks can be performed without major concerns. Safety is the key to a good environment is work!

Continuous improvement is sought

Thanks to Seiketsu and Shitsuke, the improvements proposed by the 5s method (quality control) are implemented and exercised over the long term. Inspection and supervision, accompanied by employee support, guarantee that the company will have outstanding results in the long term. This becomes the path to a profound cultural change in the company.

Implementing 5s (quality control) can be an important step in the reorganization of your company. These bases were fundamental for one of the largest nations in the world at an important moment in its history, and can also be the point of change in companies.

Do you know how to get the most out of your teams? So take the time to check out our complete toolkit for marketing, sales and management!