United States Postal Service (USPS) 

Use of lean in mail processing and delivery

Tuesday, Nov. 5 Location Code
8:30am-1:30pm TT/03

United States Postal Service (USPS) has a strict shoe policy:

  • Shoes must be slip resistant, fully enclosed on all sides and made of leather
  • Heels must be less than 1.5 inches and sole height 0.5 inch or less
  • The following are prohibited: canvas, cloth, mesh or nylon, tennis, athletic, jogging or sneakers not made of leather, Z-Coil, flip-flops and platform shoes.

Tour attendees will learn about the United States Postal Service’s lean six sigma journey which began in 2007 and how its strong community of internally trained green and black belts impact change in all work units. Every day examples of how a large processing and distribution center uses visual management, gemba boards and other lean six sigma tools to sort letters, flats and parcels 24 hours a day will be shared.


The United States Postal Service delivers for America and is part of the bedrock infrastructure of the American economy, serving its people and businesses, and connecting the nation together for over 200 years. During this time the Postal Service has increased the efficiency of this provided service by fully automating the processing and distribution facilities. The core function of the Postal Service is to provide secure, reliable and affordable delivery of mail and packages to every address in the U.S., its territories and its military installations worldwide. The Postal Service delivers more mail to more addresses in a larger geographical area than any other postal organization in the world. Delivering to more than 157 million addresses in every state, city and town in the country, and with zero tax dollars, everyone in the U.S. and its territories has access to postal products and services and pays the same for a first-class postage stamp regardless of location. www.usps.com

The South Suburban Processing and Distribution Center is one of the nation’s largest cancelling and processing sites. Over 6 million pieces of letter and flat volume are processed through an array of automation equipment which range from Advanced Facer Cancelling machines to Delivery Barcode Sorters and Robotic Containerization Systems. This facility provides service to the Chicago Metro Area which includes Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana. The postal service now provides Informed Delivery and mobile apps to track your packages from origin facility to the destinations and to visually see the mail pieces arriving to your mailbox daily.

Restrictions / Requirements

To participate in a tour, all attendees must adhere to and respect the tour hosts' restrictions and requirements.
Non-adherence may exclude you from a tour.

  • No cell phones
  • No recording devices
  • Other: See tour description
  • Leather like closed-toe shoes (No high heels)
  • Long or short-sleeved shirt/blouse
  • Long pants (no shorts, skirts, dresses)
  • Signed non-disclosure agreement