Step 2: Set In Order

Step 2 in the 5S System is Set In Order or “Seiton,” which translates to “orderliness.” The purpose of this step is to organize the work area in a way where each item would be easy to find, use, and return. There is a place for everything, and everything in its place. [1]


Things To Consider [2]

  • Which people or workstations use which items?
  • When are items used?
  • Which items are used most frequently?
  • Should items be grouped by type?
  • Where would it be most logical to place items?
    • Would some replacements be more ergonomic for workers than others?/
    • Would some placements cut down on unnecessary motion?
  • Are more storage containers necessary to keep things organized?


Building A 5S Map

  • Equipment and tools that are frequently used should be stored near the location that they are used.
  • Less frequently used tools, equipment, and suppliers can be kept in a central, easily accessible location.
  • Similar items, like drill bits and power tools should be stored next/close to each other.

Draw a 5S map, a diagram or floor plan that provides an overview of an area or process. It will provide visual reference of location of tools, supplies, workers, and travel paths. Whether you draw a map or physically rearrange things first, a diagram will help visualize the arrangement and ultimately aid new and old staff find any item.


Implement The Map

When storage locations are set, label the cabinet doors, drawers, racks, bins, or any other storage with whatever is inside. Labelling the interiors is also a good idea to help any workers clearly identify the item. It is typical that facilities create a “shadow board” for tool storage. With an outline of the tool on the board, returning an item to its designated area is easy with no second guessing. Organization can extend to the floor, too. Work areas, movement lanes, and storage for supplies and finished products can all be marked with floor marking tape. [3]


At Our Shop

Shadow board tool wall equipment

Taking the time to create a diagram, shadow board, and teach it to the staff has noticeably improved productivity. The entire production team knows where materials and tools are located, considerably reducing down-time. Even if someone is unsure, we have diagrams and shadow boards to direct someone to the right area. Remember, prior to this, chaos and clutter was our norm, production suffered, and ultimately, would burden the customer. Now that our tools and materials are properly “Set In Order,” even onboarding new staff would be much more efficient. The purpose of setting in order, is to create a system of operations and placement that can be easily interpreted by any staff.

Organized thread spool

As we continue our 5S journey, particularly “Set In Order,” we generally seek to solve issues of wasted time, extra motions, over/extra processing, unnecessary transport, and under-utilized talents.


References:   [1][3]   [2]

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