"Overproduction" of Snail Mail


Snail mail is definitely not a “level loaded” process during the year, this is a peak time.

You can tell that by the overstuffed USPS box I attempted to use yesterday (to mail something for work, not nearly-belated Christmas cards. I guess it's not practical to size your mailbox for the peak day. Emptying the box twice a day would be an operational option, but the Postal Service doesn't have the financial means to do so right now?

Happy Holidays!

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. My local post office has a double-wide drop box in the parking lot. I have seen it overstuffed on numerous occasions, not only during the Christmas season.

    I believe it is emptied only 2 (or perhaps 3) times a day, even though it is right at the post office. At times, I have been trusting – if the mail piece isn’t too important – and just added it to the overflow (there are huge penalties if someone chooses to tamper with the U.S. mail). I know, I should have been less lazy and walked inside.

    But if they were more customer focused, they would get a bigger box or empty it more often.

  2. This was not at a post office, I should add… a shopping center parking lot. It’s harder and harder to find these blue drop boxes anymore.


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