Getting back to basics with 5S training

Using the world-renowned 5S methodology, Kaizen Institute South Africa is guiding organisations across various sectors to achieve world class performance and cultures that reflect enthusiastic, efficient and reliable people.

The 5S methodology is the foundation of all improvements and is the key component in establishing a Visual Workplace.  5S is essentially a system of continual improvement and focuses on having visual order, organisation, cleanliness and standardisation. 

The principles underlying a 5S program at first glance appear to be simple and obvious.  However, the key lies in the implementation, which is what our training workshops teach.  

So what does “5S” stand for?

  • Sort - removing all unnecessary items from the workplace.
  • Set in order - creating a specific location for everything.
  • Shine - Clean the work area.
  • Standardise - standardise the best practice within the workplace.
  • Sustain - never slip back into the old ways.

By partnering with its clients, Kaizen Institute South Africa enables them to implement sustainable improvements through a process consisting of consulting, training and benchmarking activities that guides them on their KAIZEN™ journey.

The areas of application are wide and workshops are tailored to meet the specific needs of clients.  Business applications include cost reduction, safety in the workplace, product quality improvement, team building, leadership development and organizational strategy, amongst others.

Workshops are held in-house and follow a blended training approach (In class and Gemba).  Workshops are led by a team of qualified and experienced consultants.

Experience over many years has shown that the benefits are real and measurable.  They include:

  • Improvements in customer service – aligning process capabilities to customer needs and expectations.
  • Process visibility – a detailed understanding of how work is done captures organizational knowledge and results in increased productivity and reduced turnaround time.
  • Improvements in organizational capability – a focus on end-to-end process promotes cross departmental communications, innovation and clear accountability for process performance and measurement.

Greater clarity on the role of the individual. Process-focussed employees promote a sense of empowerment and ownership, transforming behaviour from "who caused the error?” to “how can the process be changed to prevent the error?”

A recent South African success story underlines the significant impact the KAIZEN™ 5S methodology can have on an organization.  A major player in the platinum refining industry paid tribute to its various work teams across the country. Comments from managers in the company showed unequivocally that their collaboration with Kaizen Institute South Africa had been a success.  

“The KAIZEN™ methodology is successful because it focusses on three things: alignment of goals through collaboration; engagement of management through creating innovation using employees’ suggestions; and focussing on people development.”

“If we can improve as an organization I am confident that we will be able to reduce work-related injuries, which is of critical importance to us.”

“We do it well, we do it better and we make it simple.  If workers take ownership, we can save thousands of rands.  I believe we can achieve a 30 to 40 per cent improvement in efficiency through a clean environment if the people enjoy their work.”

“Operational excellence means moving forward from average to world class.  It’s about the process and the people.  People are becoming engaged.”

“Operational excellence forces management to become accountable by getting involved on the ground.”

“I believe we can go so much further in the future.  For me there is no limit.”

Kaizen Institute South Africa MD, Mbuso Nkosi summed it up this way, "The KAIZEN™ methodology should touch every area of the business and involve and empower all people within the organisation, not just management.  Nor can it be a short-term solution - in fact it is a continuous, long-term strategy.  Across the world, we have found that everyone wins in the quest for Continuous Improvement."

For more information contact us at

arrow up