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Lithuania Post introduces lean principles to improve operations

Lithuania Post has implemented new lean principles to increase efficiency and handle more parcels. Lean means creating more value for customers with fewer resources. According to the post, the new lean principles have helped reduce the route and time of delivery for parcels arriving from foreign countries. The organization can now handle 25% more imported parcels each day.

“Following the re-distribution of human resources and improvement of workstations, in every 24 hours, we now distribute more imported postal items by a quarter. Parcels are sorted faster, and they reach not only post offices, but also the addressee, more rapidly, which is our fundamental goal,” said Algirdas Šimonis, operations director of Lithuania Post.

According to Lithuania Post, the lean reform affected both parcel logistics and sortation. Before lean principles were implemented, parcels used to travel a longer distance before being sorted. However, following the reform and the renewal of the sorting work stations, the processing time for a postal item has shortened and the number of parcels sorted in an hour has increased.

Lean principles were first introduced two years ago at Lithuania Post’s Vilnius logistics center. The principles follow the idea of ‘kaizen’, which is Japanese for ‘change for better’.

“We worked with lean consultants to study the theory and applied the knowledge in practice. In this manner, we ascertained that solutions were working. This first of all gave us motivation, the management team, therefore, it was not difficult to make the staff interested too. We are happy to say that we now have a team that looks to continually improve their work using kaizen ideas. On the other hand, these activities are not mandatory, therefore, if an employee is not interested in lean, we are not going to make them do it,” said Šimonis.

Lithuania Post’s employees in Vilnius have now become used to offering and implementing kaizen ideas in their everyday work. For example, they have made boards for everyday results and have improved their workstations at the conveyor belt.

September 12, 2017

Written by Helen Norman

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