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The 5S Story:

David Visco knows the key to productivity is organization—5S organization.

Businesses know it and demand it. But, these same companies provided little-to-no help on how to achieve the 5S standards that they expected. Production managers are often left to figure it out on their own.

David was no stranger to the long hours and stress associated with designing and implementing a 5S strategy. He remembers the early morning hours spent worrying at his kitchen table or pacing the hall. He recalls being stressed and racking his brain for solutions. He took every opportunity to learn the organizational system called 5S. But, he was continually shocked at the lack of support that existed.

In 2006, David and his wife Barbara knew they had a mission—to help people reduce their stress at work.

From a start-up in their home, they developed a program for people just like David.


They set out to create a program that helped production managers implement 5S into their organization without sacrificing production. They poured over books on leadership, productivity, lean manufacturing, team building, engagement and sustainment of process improvements. David became an expert in everything 5S. He used his background in warehousing and manufacturing to develop actionable plans that work.

At the same kitchen table that David spent many sleepless nights, they created a one-stop-shop for everything 5S. Answers included.

From their humble roots in the quaint little town of Pepperell, Massachusetts, The 5S Store has grown considerably. The company has outgrown the original home office space and moved into a bigger office park (...the family chihuahua, Lilly still go into the office with them every day). The company has grown in number as well, with more staff and more customers. But, it will always be rooted in family.

From day one, they’ve helped people find solutions to their biggest process improvement problems. David saw a need in the market and rushed to provide solutions. Along the way, he also authored the book 5S Made Easy. For years, 5S practitioners have struggled with how to implement and sustain 5S in their organizations. His book provides easy-to-understand guidance and real world advice on creating and sustaining successful 5S processes.

Over the years, David and his team have become the trusted go-to in the industry and have continued to develop programs that simplify organization with 5S materials and solutions that work. Through trade shows, on-site audits and ongoing customer support, they’ve steadily earned the trust of companies nationwide.

There’s no need to spend hours shopping dozens of websites. The 5S Store has all the products you’re looking for in one place and the advice you need to boot. Additionally, if you’re looking for a particular solution, but don’t see it on the site—give them a call. (978)984-4610. With over 100 vendors in their network, they'll be sure to help you find what you’re looking for at the right price.

What is 5S?

In its simplest form, 5S is another name for workplace organization. The system has a basis in Japanese culture. It’s comprised of a list of words that break down the five components of 5S. Those words include seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. Western culture has since adopted this strategic organization method. The Japanese words are now translated into another set of ‘S’ words: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

5S, at its core, is about changing behaviors for the better. This lean manufacturing tool was designed to improve worker safety, productivity, quality and efficiency while decreasing waste. It does this by removing processes that hinder these results. These particular processes are often referred to as The 7 Wastes and include defects, overproduction, waiting, non-value added processes, transportation, inventory and motion.

The 5S’s

Sort: The first step of the process is the sorting and removal of unnecessary items from the workplace. This is done through the use of visually effective red tags. The Sort phase of 5S frees up space and improves workflow. It also saves companies money by finding missing tools and equipment and creating a safer work space.

Set in Order: When unnecessary items and waste have been removed from the area, the next step is to place the remaining items in set locations. By designating efficient storage solutions, the Set in Order phase ensures all personnel, workers and employees will know exactly where and how specific items are stored.

Questions to ask during this phase:

  1. What is needed to get the job done?
  2. Where should it be located?
  3. How many of the items do I need?

Organizational systems include:

  • Bins
  • Clips
  • Labels
  • Floor tape
  • Magnets
  • Peg Boards
  • Pouches
  • Shadow boards
  • Signs
  • Color Coded Cleaning Tools
  • Tool Control
  • Visual management


Shine: While this phase may not be the most glamorous part of the 5S process, it certainly is crucial. The Shine phase allows an organization and its employees a cleaner and brighter workplace. Now, defects and previously overlooked areas in need of repair or maintenance can receive much needed attention. By creating a daily task of cleaning, this phase of the process helps to ensure every workspace is ready to be used to its full capacity. Moreover, it makes non-conformance of 5S standards more visible.

Standardize: Communication may be the highest priority of the Standardize phase. This is the time when employees and staff receive clear instructions. New procedures, responsibilities and expectations of the program should be addressed. By standardizing new procedures, we ensure that the desired procedure changes remain in place and ineffective conditions of the past don’t resurface.

Sustain: Without proper support, the Sustain phase is often the hardest part of the 5S system. Once workspaces are cleared of clutter, organized, cleaned and procedures are clearly set in place—the company must sustain these changes. Regular inspections and audits can make this stage much more manageable. Routine inspections also ensure missteps are more quickly addressed. It’s important to remain flexible and adopt new procedures as your company’s needs change.


The 5S Store can help

We don’t just sell products. We provide our customers with ongoing support and expert advice, whenever and wherever you need it. We understand how much you have on your plate and 5S management is just one small part of it. And for many, it can be a very stressful part. We know what you’re up against, because we've been there.

That’s why The 5S Store was created. Our goal is to provide you with the answers for your biggest organizational challenges. Not only do we offer the products you need for success, we have the expertise to get you there. Whether you need an onsite assessment of your current 5S program or you need help creating a program from scratch, we can help. We have over 100 years of combined experience. We'll work with you, side-by-side, to create detailed plans for improvement for your business.

We also offer consulting services in-person or on the phone. So, you can be sure you’re getting the most out of your management strategy. Our services will provide you with a roadmap to effectively implement 5S lean manufacturing principles in your facility. Which means you and your team can get back to doing what you do best.

Everything 5S in one place and the expertise you need to make it happen. It really does exist. There’s no need to stress about process development and improvement any longer.

The 5S Store: We give their customers one less thing to worry about.



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