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LBI – Best Practice Series – Managing Peak Demand During Covid 19

How Lean Principles Supported An Post Manage Increased Christmas Demand Many companies face peak demand issues requiring redeployment and hiring of temporary employees to meet seasonal demands, none more so than An Post. The Leading Edge Group were commissioned to review and put in place a structure and plan to manage the 2019 Peak which was estimated to increase dramatically from the previous year with significant volumes forecasted by one of their key customers, Amazon. Lean principles were deployed such as value stream design mapping, standard work and demand/capacity modelling to identify constraints and inefficiencies and to allow the operating units to align capacity well in advance. This also allowed Sales to provide feedback to customers in terms of effective capacity and service levels and therefore manage the expected demand inflows. More effective operating layouts and flow management processes were also developed so that product status was highly visual and further improvement opportunities were easy to identify and execute. The success of the project was enabled by high levels of teamwork and communication, supported by daily huddles and weekly KPI meetings which were rigorously attended by all the key stakeholders. The result was that An Post delivered a 100% increase in Parcel volumes which continued through further demand spikes resulting from COVID-19.

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