Implementing Retail Service Layout Approach at USPS
Individual Case Assignment
MGT 6355 Operations & Supply Management
Shahzado A Wahocho
July 26, 2009
Table of Contents
Application of OM Concepts/Tools
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I often visit a local post office that is about a block away from my residence. I often find this post office crowded with customers but very under staffed. If I have to mail a letter and need a stamp I have to stay in the line for at least 30 minutes. The post office really needs improvement in its operation performance. The average time a customer spends can vary from 15 minutes to 45 minutes. Luckily the case assignment requires finding a real problem and then finding its solution, hence I find this problem very right one for this paper. I would like to find a solution that people who come to post office for stamps or money orders don’t have to stay in the line for that much time. To achieve this goal, I have employed some OM concepts of retail service layout to redesign the facility to reduce the wait time for stamp and money order customers. The tools that can be used to achieve the goal of reducing wait time are redesigning the facility layout and self-service approach. After the facility is redesigned the wait time for stamp and money order customers will be reduced significantly to a minimum depending upon how many customers are in the line.
US Postal Service or USPS is a $68 billion organization (USPS 2009); it processes on average 24 million pieces of mail every day and employs 596000 employees (USPS 200). I selected this local facility because I have personal experience with that facility and I often get frustrated in waiting long lines. The number of staff is usually small and numbers of customers is usually big.
The main problem that this paper will try to find a solution is to reduce the wait time of customers who wait in the line for stamps and money orders. The post office opens from 9:30 AM till 4:30 PM. On an average 100 customers visit the post office each day. Out of those nearly 25% or 25 are the customers for postage stamps and money orders. If we take an average 3 minute for each customer to spend at the counter, the stamp and money order customers will be spending 75 minutes in the post office. Assuming there are total 8 customers in a line at a given time, and out of those 8 customers 2 are for stamps, then the first stamp customer will be in the line for 6 minutes and the second customer for 12 minutes. Below is the diagram of the current line and current facility layout. [pic]
Figure 1: USPS facility’s current layout
OM concept and tools that can be used
The main focus of our paper is to provide a facility layout that best fits the needs of customers who only want stamps or money orders. Let’s take a look at the current facility layout to see if its meets our needs. Customers enter through main entrance and make a line by the island. The island provides customers facility to arrange their shipping materials, labels etc before they arrive at the front desk counters. The white colored ovals represent regular customers who are in the line to ship parcels or other types of mails that require more services than just placing stamps. The green colored ovals represent customers who are in the line specifically for purchasing stamps or money orders. Assuming there are 8 customers in a line at a given time and two customers, customer # 4 and customer # 8 are in the line for stamps or money orders. Assuming there are only two staff members at the front desk counters and assuming each customer will spend 3 minutes with each front desk staff member. The table should look like the following: |Old Lay out...
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