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Productivity Improvements to Direct Mail Operations – LH08-TRAN

The purpose of this project was to change the process structure and culture of a company with world-class supply management concepts to enable it to improve capability and reliability.


Transcontinental Direct Mail Services

Research Team:

Emory Zimmers, Vinay Govande

Universities Involved:

Lehigh University

Start Date:


End Date:



The goal of this project was to streamline the supply chain at Transcontinental Direct Mail Services to improve customer service, shifting their structure from functionally organized departments to cellular organization. Cellular organization enabled more flexibility in dealing with demand, as well as helping develop high-performance team structures within the cells.
Transcontinental Direct Mail Services processes close to two billion pieces of mail per year. The company wished to embrace world-class supply chain management (SCM) concepts within their Warminster, PA facility. This required more than process change; it required a change in culture as well. The implementation of world-class supply chain management techniques through this project led to significant improvements in customer service through increasing capacity and reliability.

Transcontinental Direct streamlined the supply chain, changing the functionally organized departments into six production cells. This cellular restructuring increased throughput and flexibility, making the Transcontinental Direct supply chain more responsive to demand.
The shift from functional departments to production cells made the company more responsive to customer demand overall. This also demonstrated the need to facilitate a shift within the corporate culture to make such a change productive. Creating management teams within the company specifically to ease the cultural shift is a viable solution.