I was reading an article about UPS drivers that was interesting: all UPS drivers follow company private GPS software that provides routes without left turns. For many of us, this would be a welcome addition to our navigation systems.

As Lean Six Sigma professionals, we can quickly identify this as a Lean (FLOW) issue. Applying the 7+1 wastes we can really see the gains made by adopting the no left policy:

  • Transportation: Less miles per delivery
  • Inventory: Less inventory due to higher delivery capacity, higher throughput
  • Motion: Less package movement in-transit which is less of a chance for defect
  • Waiting: Less waiting at stop lights to turn left
  • Overproduction: Less opportunity of driving longer per shipment
  • Overprocessing: Less opportunity of driving longer per shipment
  • Defect: Less accidents due to left turns
  • Employee Resources: Utilizing the resources optimally for higher throughput.

The result for UPS is an estimated 10% to 15% increase in capacity without increasing cost. Not a bad return for doing the “small stuff”. I think we can all agree, practicing Lean will provide bottom line results quicker with long standing potential than any other strategic implementation tool or technique. If you are interested in learning more on Lean Six Sigma, please let me know and I can direct you to the best provider or organization in your area. You might not have to make a left hand turn!!

Gary Kapanowski – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – Excelsior

The following blog is the opinion of Gary Kapanowski and Garykapanowski.com. It is the sole intent to broadcast this opinion from Gary Kapanowski and Garykapanowski.com exclusively and not to reflect on any other institutions or organizations associated with Gary Kapanowski or Garykapanowski.com.

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