We apply lean manufacturing tools in our firm. 5S is one of the basic and the most important. First we create a competiton atmosphere between the production departments, and the best department was being awarded with small gifts (less than 10 $). and than we try to expect 5s as a mission from the departments. We carry out "a red flag to worst department". The audit was once a week. But it doesnt work...The expectations are still looking for the gifts and doesnt care about the red flag...What can we do for getting good result?

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Hi Meminoz - some companies have found reward programs are useful. I however have tried implementing in the past with little success. You should not need to provide monetary rewards for successful 5S implementations. People should simply be held accountable for maintaining the agreed upon standards. This accountability needs to go across the entire organization. Weekly audits should be held and scores posted. These scores should be covered in each departments weekly meetings and at least at the company quarterly meetings. Beyond this, the most effective method of sustaining 5S is for senior management to walk the floor for as little as 5 - 10 minutes and point out good 5S practices they see. I hope this is helpful. Good luck

Hi community manager

Thanks for your kind reply. we were on preparing a new plan about implementing 5S for the end of september, i will take into acoount. Beside i try to focus on some visual management tools aobut 5s. we have tried "red flag to worst department", what else can we try?

Hi Meminoz, as I understood that you did ' Red tag (flag) to worst department'... I feel it should be done for all the areas, even if it takes long time to complete. I felt the RED FLAG operation is the most important part in 5S implementation.As per your 5S implementation plan the VISUAL management will do a lot and there is no doubt at all.......One more important thing in 5S is training to each and every one. I suggest (i) Some one of your senior member can do a powerful audit of the present situation of your plant and prepare a Power Point Presentation of 5S suitable for your Industry.(ii)Take lot of photos of the Present situation after marking the FPP(Fixed Point Photography).....Because after you straighten the plant these photographs will be beautiful memories and motivation tool for new comers (iii)Collect some of 5S videos(Like Toyota) from YOUTUBE.COM and keep in all your computers and train the people at every corner of your plant(daily 5 -10 min)  (iv)Audit check sheets and scoring to be done by employees themselves(cross dept audits) ........last but not least make a big Banner and place in front of the plant Entrance(can be seen by everyone) which displays "NEVER STOP LISTENING.NEVER STOP LEARNING.NEVER STOP TRAINING".....As community Manager suggests 'senior management to walk for a little as 5-10 minutes'..will do really  amazing motivation to everyone.....I will come back whenever time permits...Wish you Good Luck!

Good input S.L. Subramanian. Meminoz, I had a few more thoughts. One, rather than carrying out a red flag to the worst area, how about celebrating the positive by bringing a green flag to the area that did the best? Working with a positive mindset rather than the negative is always a good idea. Another good idea is to have Sr Management leave behind little notes in the areas they see needs improvement and/or where things look good. Overtime, the staff will begin to look for such notes. The 5S Store is launching such a product within the next several days on sticky back pads. That might be helpful. I can get you more information if you're interested.


Take care


David Visco

5S Best Practices

Dear all

Thanks for your kind interests.

In the begining of the 5S study we have put red tags to every department and material as the neccesity of 5S' s 1 st step "sort". Now, we make audits and disclose the worst department with a big red flag, we use to give small gifts to the best departments before, but it didnt work, now it it doesnt work either...I ll take in to account the trip of the Sr management in the production area...But as a result unfortunately there is not a well known method of getting exact result of standardizing/sustainig 5S..

Thanks in advance


Hi Meminoz - you mentioned that folks are red tagging. How about Setting in Order - the second S and then Shining the areas. Until these are done, audits are inappropriate. If you are trying to set a standard how about finding one area, go thru the first three S's and make it the Standard to measure against. Take plenty of before and after picutres and post them on a communication board. Then, each week, conduct the audits in just this area and post the results. Continue to standardize the area, provide feedback to the staff and overtime people will get to understand what is expected. Then you can go on to another area. This process has been successful in many plants I've helped. Good luck


We use a dust pan spray painted gold for the highest score, and a rusty one with holes drilled in it for the worst.  The display is in a high traffic area that all visitors & employees see often.  It would be more beneficial though, to have every one understand the benefits of 5S to make it sucessful & write a standard procedure/document for your site to help aid standarization.  We also hang an audit board with specific 5S info for each audit area in that area.  Makes it easier for them to have specific info, add notes, review the action plan, etc.  This has helped a ton.

We have now started to use a green flag with a smiley face for the best department and a sulky face for the worst department which is being hanged on the board of each department. The audit team continues... We will see..

Hi Meminoz I like the idea of the green flag with the smiley face. Wondering if the sulky face should be a different color.

Sure it is. I have forgotten to state.. It is red.

Hi ,very good discussion ,but i think we can never blame to the operator or people who is not following 5S or not doing 5S.

I think in 5S there is 2 things ,1 is basic infrastructure development like making PEEP,Shadow boards,provision for keeping unwanted material within given time frame(10min) per shift,& cleaning items for cleaning.

2nd is Daily maintain/sustain or discipline.Many persons some time interested to do improvement or PEEP or cleaning on there m/c but they area not getting the proper resources & because of lack of resources  persons getting demotivated & person not doing any improvement sofar,for developing continues improvement culture we should provide the one 5S corner from where they can at-list find the kaizen material for doing PEEP,etc.

  I think Meminoz and all we should first provide 5S corner.for this how to apply & do all marking,etc we should start with Painting & signboard strategy training to operator.so that they can do their own & we can develop good 5S culture .

Hi Vishal,

Thank you for the input. You're first statement is accurate "we can never blame the operator". I believe it is up to Management to set the proper culture of improvement and to set clear behavioral expectations first. Until those are in place, people can not be held accountable and corrective actions and setting standards are impossible.

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