Over the past several weeks I observed both Kanban best practices applied around us and articles about it. Except for circumstances – this is just another proof of concept – it works! Few days ago I bought some small stuff online with delivery to the InPost parcel locker. In the morning I received a standard text message: “Your package awaits you in parcel lock. If you don’t pick it up in 48 hours, it will be returned.” Fine, I have 2 days. After 7,5 hrs I received another text message: “Help other people! Pick up your package within an hour and let others use a safe delivery method!” I was happy. Again. After observing how shops use kanbans/trolleys to limit the number of people inside. How people naturally flow within the shop system/space. How unclear policies can make our life harder (thanks, Radek, for a nice article!). Now – this! InPost does kanban in several ways: 1.Parcel locker is a system. 2. One slot in the parcel locker is one kanban. 3. Number of slots in the system is limited. 4. There are different types of the slots, which represent different work items (not necessarily the size – but this is a topic for another post). 5. Once your package is ready to pick up, you receive information (text message) from the system – a signal that work (delivery) can be pulled. 6. When the package leaves the locker, meaning the work is completed, a slot (kanban) is released and a new item can be placed (pulled) in the locker (system). 7. There is a clear and simple policy describing when the package will be returned (48 hrs), which is equivalent of abandoned work. 8. InPost encourages you to decrease lead time (in this case time when your package is placed in the locker) by sending text messages that there are other clients, who would like to be serviced. 9. Decreased lead time improves flow of deliveries (flow of work). I felt encouraged. My delivery left the parcel locker at least 14-15 hours earlier than I initially planned to do it, which shortened the lead time for this particular item from 22 hrs to approximately 8 hrs. Well done, InPost!
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