Before the holidays, I decided to run a “short” errand during work to my local shipping store.
I was immediately struck by the sheer volume of packages that surrounded me as I walked in – floor to ceiling, four to five packages deep, running along each wall of the store. And, as I patiently waited my turn, the packages just kept arriving one after another in a seemingly never-ending parade of customers.
Perhaps I should have checked the news before venturing out during my lunch hour. If I had, I may have read that December 16 was officially declared as the busiest day of the season for shipping packages. In fact, according to Huffington Post article of the same date, “With an estimated 500 million letters, packages and cards to deliver this holiday season, the Postal Service expects to make stops at 152 million addresses this year. And they’re not the only ones with their hands full. FedEx announced they expect to see double their volume of a standard day on the 16th alone. Similarly, UPS, which adds an additional 55,000 seasonal employees to get work done, says it will pick up 34 million packages around the world throughout the day.”
This made me wonder of course, how do they do it all? Clearly, delivering such a large number of parcels on such a tight timeline must require an exceptionally well-thought out, streamlined workflow, as became evident just two weeks later as stories of missed holiday deliveries hit the news.
While not on such a massive scale, this is exactly the type of challenge we enjoy at TEQ.
For example, when a global leader of healthcare devices moved the production of their ear thermometer covers from a manufacturing operation in Ireland to one in North America, TEQ not only set up a fully-functional, certified modular clean room operation, we also re-examined the entire workflow process to identify opportunities for improvement and increased efficiencies.
By implementing a series of tooling and machine modifications and identifying a new partner in close proximity to our clean room facility to produce the printed components and ship the medical and retail cartons – we were able to introduce a continuous flow of material reuse and drastically reduce unnecessary delays and cost from the supply chain.
What about you? What are your success stories when it comes to supply chain efficiency?