5s Case Studies

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Table of Contents

Born in Japan, the 5S methodology stands out as a flexible tool for achieving efficiency, productivity, and workplace safety. This article looks at Case Studies from around the web that explore how 5s was implemented.  

As businesses strive to streamline operations and minimize waste, the principles of Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain offer a systematic approach to organizing workspaces, improving workflows, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.


Case Study: Integrating 5S Principles with Process Improvement 


unisa 5s case study screenshot

The case study above explores the implementation of the 5S methodology within a South African automotive manufacturing company, aiming to enhance workplace organization, efficiency, and safety.

 Through a detailed case study analysis, the report examines the company’s journey in adopting the 5S principles of Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. 

Findings reveal significant improvements in workspace organization, cleanliness, and employee morale following the implementation of 5S practices. Moreover, the study highlights the importance of employee involvement, leadership support, and continuous monitoring and improvement in sustaining the benefits of 5S overtime. 


Case Study: A cable factory in Poland

Poland cable factory - 5s case study

Link to the full case study: link

A case study from Europe… The implementation of the 5S technique in an un-named Polish cable factory resulted in significant improvements in productivity and working conditions.

Tools were readily accessible, leading to smoother operations and reduced downtime. With better organization, instances of obstacles hindering workflow, such as stray cables or misplaced equipment, decreased. This led to enhanced efficiency and a decrease in frustration among employees.

The study underscores the importance of effective management, proper training, and clear communication in maximizing the benefits of the 5S system. It emphasizes that while the 5S methodology can lead to positive outcomes, the commitment and performance of employees are crucial factors in its success. Additionally, the research highlights the importance of aligning management practices with the specific needs and capabilities of the workforce to achieve sustained improvements.


Case Study: “Analysis of the 5S Technique: Case Study of a Surveying Laboratory”

Link to case study PDF

This case study (from Western Kentucky researchers) studies 5s in a surveying laboratory. Amongst the findings – employees reported higher levels of satisfaction with their work environment, and safety concerns were also addressed through the systematic organization of tools and equipment.

 Overall, the case study demonstrates the positive impact of implementing the 5S technique in a surveying laboratory, not only in terms of efficiency and productivity but also in creating a safer and more satisfactory work environment for employees.


Case Study: Lean adoption in hospitals: the role of contextual factors and introduction strategy


Screenshot of hospital 5s case study

The food and beverage industry is the target of this case study. 

The broad report review analyzes a total of 26 articles to evaluate the application of 5S in various food and beverage industry settings. The findings suggest that the implementation of 5S principles leads to significant improvements in cleanliness, safety, efficiency, and overall operational performance. 


Case Study: Implementation of 5S in a plastic bag manufacturing industry.


plastic bag factory 5s case study screenshot

This industrial 5s case study  article shows the impact of 5s: “Following the deployment of 5S in these areas, the total operational time was reduced by 8% for blowing and 18% for printing”.


5S and production organization | Waterax – material handling case study (📹video)

In this two minute 5s video case study we can see what workers at Waterax do to improve the flow in a specific work cell. You can view the video by clicking here

5s in waterax manufacturing plant - video




In summary, Through the exploration of real-world examples, readers will gain valuable insights into the diverse ways in which companies have implemented 5S principles to drive real, valuable results. From manufacturing giants like Toyota and Boeing to service-oriented industries such as healthcare and hospitality, each case study showcases how 5S methodologies have been tailored to specific organizational contexts to enhance efficiency and quality. By examining the challenges faced, strategies employed, and outcomes achieved, this article provides a comprehensive overview of the transformative impact of 5S on operational excellence and organizational performance.”