New LEI Case Study – Canada Post


Success Stories

Good case study (with pictures) on applying lean thinking to non-manufacturing environments. The Canada Post team focused on flow, even going so far as to eliminate a giant automated sorting machine with a manual cell that was much smaller. I've seen many cases where getting rid of automation actually helps, that's very counterintuitive in the traditional manufacturing mindset (especially when the automation was originally put in with the justification of improving “efficiency”!).

“I used to think that we weren't a manufacturing company; we didn't produce anything,” said Don McLellan, director, mail operations, at the Calgary facility, “but you can lean out mail operations. What we're looking for is flow; in one door and out another.”

They also applied value stream mapping, standard work, takt time, work balancing, visual controls and other lean tools.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.

1 Comment
  1. Anonymous

    […] other countries where the Post Office is using Lean, like Canada or Japan, there’s no evidence that the USPS is trying to adopt Lean practices. That’s […]

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