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5S Magnetic Overlays – What Are They and How Do You Use Them?

The 5S Magnetic Overlay

5S magnetic Overlay - Clarity Visual Management


What is a 5S Magnetic Overlay?

It looks great, doesn’t it? But what actually is it? 5S is the cornerstone of any Lean programme, but the hardest part of it is the final ‘S’, Sustain. This board is specifically devised to help your company sustain 5S for the long-term.


How to Use your 5S Magnetic overlay

After you have completed the first 3 steps in the 5S programme and have organised your key work areas, take a picture of them and put them in the visual standards section.


5S Visual Standards - Clarity Visual Management


5S House Keeping - Clarity Visual Management


This is the ‘standardise’ part of the programme and will allow the entire team

to visually see the standards you have set for that work area. Every day the person

in charge of the board should check the area against the picture. If it meets or is

higher than the expected standard, it is coloured green, is given a tick, or has a

green magnet placed next to the picture in the box provided. You would then colour

the corresponding day in blue or green. If the area does not meet the expected standard

a cross is placed next to the box and the day is coloured in red.


5S Key -




This will allow you to quickly see if there is a particular trend when the standard is not met and to find the solution. For instance, is it frequently red when it is a particular person’s shift, or around a busy time of the month? A red should then trigger an entry in the improvements or suggestion column.



5S example of improvements - Clarity Visual Management

For instance, if an area failed to meet the standard because a bin wasn’t emptied you would write the following.


The initial section encourages someone to take ownership of the action, which can be then marked as done or whipped off when completed.



This visual management magnetic overlay is made to be simple and easy to use whilst motivating your team to keep the work area to the standards you have set. This also allows any manager to walk in and instantly see the status of the 5S programme and issue rewards or actions for improvement as they see fit. The magnetic overlay will simply attach to any magnetic whiteboard allowing you to easily remove and put up as you see fit. This offers fantastic versatility to your visual management programme.

If you are implementing a 5S programme in your workplace, invest in your very own 5S overlay to ensure you can sustain the programme. We can print these in accordance with your own brand guidelines and requirements so that it fits in with your needs.



Clarity Visual Management, making Lean work…

Here at Clarity Visual Management, we consult with clients both far and wide about how they can use visual management to achieve their goals, exceed their targets and make financial savings which would otherwise be lost to waste. We work with our clients to create a bespoke strategy that ensures visual management is set up for success before providing specific, high-quality Lean products to sustain the visual management programme and make Lean work in the organisation long-term.

You can read more about the work we’ve undertaken with our clients by browsing through our Visual Management Case Studies.

Download our ‘Introduction to Clarity Visual Management’ if you’re unfamiliar with Clarity and want to learn a little more about our products and services.

Download Your Guide Here


Further reading on the Clarity Blog: