At a local processing plant, supervisors and employees were facing low quality of mail sortation resulting in mis-sorted, mis-delivered, and mis-sequenced mail. Delivery was being delayed and mail returns were unacceptably high. Machine performance was substandard and overtime usage was high. Employee performance was not being addressed for fear of union shop intervention. Customer complaints continue to rise. The current performance of 93% was below the breakthrough goal of 98%. The plant manager summoned the leadership team to discuss possible solutions to this ongoing problem.
Out of the meeting, the leadership team agreed to an improvement plan to raise the delivery point sequence quality to 98%. A quarterly contest was immediately started with the floor manager receiving the implementation instructions during the program kick-off. None of the floor management staff was included in the planning. Employees were unaware of the program details. Maintenance was not informed. After the first quarter, the quality remained at 93%, and in some weeks even had declined. Customer complaints persisted and employee motivation was evidently lacking.