No one knows the ins and outs of our business better than our employees. That is why we encourage them to challenge existing methods and processes and make suggestions for simplified, cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions. Our multilingual Intranet-based idea management platform makes it easy for employees to engage and exchange on improvement ideas.
When he noticed that his foreign colleagues were having difficulties understanding "postal German," Peter Flamm, a team lead in Mutterstadt, took action quickly. Since last summer he has been offering a weekly German course that concentrates on the typical dialogues, sentences and words that letter carriers encounter in their daily work.
Peter Flamm teaching. "Brief mit Zusatzleistung" (letter with extra service) or "Gangfolgesortiermaschine" (carrier sequence sorter) - these are terms that are hard for any non-postal worker to understand. How hard must they be for employees whose native language isn't German?
Peter Flamm, a team lead in Mutterstadt, noticed this problem and says, "I simply noticed that though some employees have lived in Germany for a long time and get through daily life without problems, there are often certain words or entire sentences that they don't understand at work. And of course nobody wants to ask."
Flamm, who is 61 and studied German, has been tutoring for years as a sideline to his job with Deutsche Post. So he decided to help out his colleagues with their German, and with special postal terminology in particular.
His branch supports the idea and has made rooms available for the course, the same rooms where the trainees are taught. Since last summer his "Deutsch am Arbeitsplatz" (German in the workplace) course takes place there every Monday evening.
Flamm prepares the course materials himself. Using typical dialogues that letter carriers encounter over and over at work, he aims to make his colleagues capable of dealing with daily situations on the job. "If somebody doesn't understand something at all, then they try using gestures," says Flamm. "But usually there's at least one person in the course who understands and can help the others out."
The participants come from all over the world: Albania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Turkey or Italy. Many of them have been in Germany for a long time, others only for a few months. The course is set to last for a year. But Peter Flamm is already looking ahead: "I'll definitely be adding commentary to the teaching materials so that the German course can continue even after I retire."
What to do with the 500 pallets that arrived every week at the parcel sorting center in Rheinberg? The answer was "throw them away" - until personnel dispatcher Tekin Bagli had a better idea. Now, following a bit of Internet research and a talk with his boss, the pallets are being sold.
Tekin Bagli is a staff dispatcher at the Amazon Sorting Center Rheinberg. His job is actually to allocate staff resources and schedule working hours, but he noticed how many pallets arrived in the parcel sorting center. And no wonder, since the main customer is Amazon. Up to 500 pallets loaded with parcels arrive there every week, or even more at times of heavy traffic.
Since the parcel center had no use for the pallets and also had no place to store them, they were simply thrown away. They ended up in a big container that was emptied once a week. "That's really quite a waste," thought Bagli. After all, the pallets were mostly in good condition and still quite usable.
Bagli, who is 24 and has been working at Deutsche Post for five years, quickly began to research in the Internet. He hit pay dirt fast: there are plenty of companies that deal in pallets. His boss agreed and all it took was a phone call.
Since then a small truck comes to the parcel sorting center in Rheinberg almost every day to pick up all the pallets. Every intact expendable pallet brings in 80 cents, and Euro-pallets are worth EUR3.50 each. And even the broken pallets are taken away since they can be used for firewood. Not only does the parcel sorting center save the costs of pallet disposal, it actually earns money by selling the pallets - about EUR13,000 per year.
Bagli submitted the idea of selling pallets instead of throwing them away to idea management. And the idea caught on; now the parcel center in Krefeld also sells its pallets.