United Parcel Service (UPS) is an American supply chain management company and multinational package delivery system founded by James.E.Casey on 28th August 1907 in Seattle, Washington. Its headquarters is in Atlanta and it serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The entire company is involved in bringing innovation. It is the world’s largest package delivery service which helps in the timely, low cost and reliable package delivery. At UPS, the cross-functional team is developed to solve problems together, where each member is allowed to give their ideas. It involves a team of engineers, IT, operations and marketing. This cross-functional approach produces successful results in half the time.
UPS is always innovating new ideas for integrating global smart logistic networks and generating new customer benefits. This is well illustrated in UPS’s SWOT and PESTLE analysis by SWOT & PESTLE.com. It is a combination of experience, expertise, and technology powered by real-time data which creates efficiency and provides unique value to its customers. This network is so unique and inter-connected that it would be impossible to replicate. It aims to improve the customer experience in a way that will drive more business and profit.
In 2018, the company won Red Hat Innovator of the Year Award. It was awarded for its exceptional customer services, real-time data access – that improves network efficiency, and for providing mobile to facility operators. Newsweek magazine awarded UPS – America’s Best Customer Service for its shipping and Delivery Services. Fortune magazine awarded it as the Most Valuable Brand in Transportation.
An important UPS innovation and part of data-driven solutions are EDGE (Enhanced Dynamic Global Execution). It helps in enhancing network planning and equipment utilization, improve flexibility and reliability especially in case of managing weather or other network disruptions. This project which was implemented in 2015 is aiding UPS to reduce operational costs. It makes the logistics network even smarter. According to Nick Costides, UPS vice president of Information technology, enhancement of data-driven tools will prove beneficial for both customers and facilities which are given around the world. CIPE (Centre Inside Planning and Execution) is an important example of this initiation. CIPE will help to reduce cost by providing facility leaders with tools to manage their operations efficiently. The UPS – CIPE platform uses cloud-based technology for providing facility supervisors with real-time information on many processes. Cloud is used as a mechanism to develop applications faster and to manage the cost of development so that the company can build additional technologies in the future. Information technology has an important role to play in the transformation. The annual technology budget of UPS is $1 billion. Investments in technology is one of the key strengths of UPS. This year UPS is launching a new and improved UPS.com, a simplified set of tools to on-board customers and ship packages and technologies. The technology is reaching more people day by day. During the peak period, it provided over 137 million UPS My Choice alerts to the residential customers. UPS is also preparing for the long term by developing road-maps, strategies and experimenting in different ways. The DIAD – the driver mobile device project is coming up to transform the way it provides services and information. Implementation of operational technologies like Package Flow Technology has helped to develop a variety of new customer-focused solutions which includes UPS Access Point, UPS My Choice, Package Intercepts and Follow My Delivery.
Another enhancement includes NPT (Network Planning Tools). It tells the driver their optimum route and helps in finding alternative routes during storms. It is designed to lower transportation cost and minimize delays. In 2020 nearly $100 million to $200 million is expected to be generated in annual savings and cost avoidance. In November, a chatbot was launched which mimics human conversation to help users find UPS locations, get shipping rates and track packages. Later this year chatbot will be integrated with UPS My Choice. In Ruanda, delivery of vaccines and critical medications to remote areas is done using Zipline’s drone technology. UPS remains an innovative developing company today. One example of this is UPS ORION (On Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) system first employed in 2008. ORION is estimated to save the company 300 – 400 million in costs annually. All these examples demonstrate how technology and data are used to boost efficiency in the logistics and transportation business of UPS.
Hence a company like UPS which plans to be a vital part of global commerce for the next 110 years is likable to invest more money in technology for the invention and innovation in order to grow the business and deliver best results to the customers and share-owners.