I know this will shock you, but an inspector general’s report out today finds that the U.S. Postal Service’s Chicago Network Distribution Center is wasting a lot of man-hours:
[The Inspector General] found the Chicago NDC’s parcel sorter machines and sack sorter operations were inefficient and determined the facility used more workhours in mailhandler operations than necessary. As a result, the Chicago NDC could eliminate 119,572 workhours from its mail processing operations.
We also found some mail transport equipment with unused space, equipment not properly restrained for transport, and some trailers from the Chicago NDC headed to Pittsburgh and Des Moines NDCs were not filled to capacity. These conditions occurred because officials did not properly staff operations based on mail volume and did not have the latest technology installed on parcel sorter machines to automate parcel distribution.
In addition, the Powered Industrial Vehicle Management System used for tracking motorized equipment was not working; and employees did not fully use the Yard Management System to ensure efficient trailer yard moves or follow NDC guidelines for properly sorting, labeling, and consolidating mail. Further, management did not review its highway contract route transportation requirements. The Postal Service could save about $5.6 million annually by eliminating unnecessary work hours, ensuring compliance with NDC guidelines, and eliminating three underutilized transportation round trips.
Is there such a thing as “peak inefficiency”?