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Year-End Update on Continuous Improvement Efforts at IWCO Direct

Patrick Sondreal

We’re down to the final days of 2015, and in many ways the year has flown by. As I think back on our Continuous Improvement efforts at IWCO Direct, we have a lot of be proud of. We’ve developed a process for collecting defect data across our platform, which is then used to zero in on defect root cause. This has resulted in process improvements in all areas and all sites. We’ve broadened the scope of CI beyond operations to encompass the entire workflow – from job acceptance to finished mail. And we’ve developed a relentless focus on quality, with CI teams analyzing internal issues much differently than ever before. We now study for cause, gaps and ultimately where we can put preventive measures in place.

Over the past year, we also enhanced training, ran more live scenario drills and added more visuals in the workplace. Using data, we’ve improved communication at all levels to highlight areas of focus and sought the ideas of subject matter experts to resolve issues. We’ve reduced downtime and have established a steering team to focus and drive the standardization of processes across the platform in 2016.

Perhaps most importantly, we’ve made a focus on CI of key aspect of our culture. Over time we will continue developing a culture that adopts the following mindset:

Continuous Improvement is a way of life. All employees recognize that improvement is part of their job. All managers see improvement as one of their key responsibilities and a way to help make our clients more successful.

Change is an accepted way of life. The culture of the company is one that accepts change as inevitable and desirable. Employees do their part to support change and to make its implementation successful. Resistance to change is low.

The cost of poor quality is widely recognized. Managers and employees seek to identify and eliminate any “non-conformance” that impacts cost or quality.

“Doing it right the first time” is the goal.

We have a lot in store for the Continuous Improvement efforts at IWCO Direct in 2016 as well. We expect to refine our defect data collection process in order to better understand areas of improvement for our organization and ways we can better meet our clients’ needs. We will also expand our processes for standardization of workflows and best practices across platforms – whether it is the onboarding of new equipment or combining of best-known methods between sites.

It will be an exciting year. Stay tuned as we continue to share updates on our journey in 2016.  Happy New Year!

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2015/12/30/continuous-improvement-efforts-at-iwco-direct/
Patrick Sondreal


Patrick Sondreal

SVP Operations & Customer Experience. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison with an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Commissioned officer of the U.S. Navy who brings a commitment to teamwork and continuous improvement to IWCO Direct every day. Wisconsin Badger fan who loves being part of his kids’ activities.

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