TOTE Maritime Alaska News & Media

Continuous Improvement

Lisa Peterman, Director of Continuous Improvement

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT is the ongoing effort to improve service and process - one of many definitions out there.

At TOTE Maritime Alaska, Continuous Improvement is the relentless effort to examine our service to our customers; to improve safety, quality, and support for our people to be empowered to create change.

We began the new year by implementing Visual Management to provide an understanding of our business, improve teamwork, and focus on our goals.  Teams use “Huddle Boards” to meet and discuss what critical items need to be completed on a daily, weekly basis that executes the highest level of service for our customers.

Casey Stone, Sam Birklid, and Beth Christensen from the Customer Service Dept. review team Huddle Board

Continuous Improvement (CI) is all about the “Plan, Do, Check, Act” philosophy and here at TOTE we have embraced this by engaging teams to take responsibility for small changes that create impactful results.  Utilizing the Saltchuk Business System core values of “Customer First, Respect for People, Empower People, Just in Time, Flow and Building in Quality” we take continuous improvement to a new level by incorporating in our everyday actions.

Two of our major initiatives this year are around equipment utilization to improve turn-times of equipment, providing reliable equipment every time, and improving our trucking logistics to align service needs and expectations. By incorporating CI, we engage teams across the organization to pool resources as one team to solve problems, improve service, and standardize processes while building relationships with our Key Partners.

The TOTE Maritime Alaska "war room"
The TOTE Maritime Alaska "war room"

The most important component of Continuous Improvement is people. Our people make TOTE what it is, and without their expertise, care for our customers and passion to provide the highest level of service we would not be who we are today.  At TOTE we highlight our employees through the TOTE Framework, with emphasis on the pride they we take in providing the highest quality service.