As the leading delivery chain in the world, the United Parcel Service (UPS) has improved on many logistics processes over the years. UPS strives to stay ahead of the competition in all areas, especially logistics. Technology, for its logistics operations is one of the biggest areas in which they have done this. Whether it is with logistics services, or hand held computers; they attempt to stay in front so that customers do not have to look elsewhere. By staying ahead in technology; UPS can also take advantage of being trendsetters in the industry, as well as, cost savings when available.
As a matter of fact, technology improves most functions in an organization to include logistics operations. Technology is taken for granted everyday and has become integrated into the UPS work environment. Take, for example, the computer. Almost every job in the world requires the use of a computer for everyday tasks in some form or fashion, even if it’s not directly. For instance, in the UPS organization, when someone sends one of 3. 75 billion annual packages (Wilson, T. ) through UPS, an employee must enter the necessary information into a computer and then prints the corresponding labels containing barcodes identifying the package.
“Throughout the shipping process, machines and UPS employees can use bar-code scanners to read these codes and retrieve the information originally entered into the computer. This is why you can get real-time updates on where your packages are at the UPS website. The computer generated label also consists of vital information, like the delivery address, in print so that humans can read it.
” (Wilson, T. ) After the UPS driver finds the destination they use route-planning software that helps them find the quickest possible route. “When the driver arrives, he retrieves the packages and scans them with a delivery information acquisition device (DIAD). The DIAD is a rugged, brown handheld computer [that] retrieves package information and stores signatures. ” (Wilson, T. ) The DIAD is another type of computer that eventually sends its information to the computers at UPS that allows the sender to know that the package has been delivered.
In that brief description a computer was used in various ways, none of which are thought much about by anyone sending or receiving a package. The various technological advances that affect our work environment do a lot more than help ship packages and letters. An additional area that is being improved is the third-party logistics (3PL). UPS has two smaller companies within its conglomerate named UPS Supply Chain Solutions and UPS Logistics. These companies are in the process of getting familiar with the supply chain in order to become integrated within their customers networks.
UPS would like to be the reason for their customers successful so they can eventually benefit from their successes. The best way for UPS to find growth is to have their customers prosper. UPS is a large global company, and they are constantly introducing new logistic initiatives. Eliminating a full day out of the transit network from coast-to-coast delivery is an attempt to improve logistics process. The only way to gain days of transit time, for UPS, is to tighten their network and to cut out unnecessary delays.
This option should be researched and implemented if it is viable and cost effective for the UPS organization. UPS is always looking for a technological edge. One example is with the addition of Package Flow Technology (PFT). PFT is a huge project that essentially changes the way the package is labeled internally. The new label does away with the need for route knowledge in order to load the package car for stop-by-stop positions. An employee can be trained to load a package car in about 10 minutes.
This technology allows for supervisors to have a Dispatch Planning System (DPS), which they use to dispatch their drivers with the correct amount of stops. It also permits management the capability to set up their drivers with a more productive day. The dispatch information is input into the driver’s Delivery Information Acquisition Device, or DIAD, which tells the driver where they should be stop-by-stop, and how many packages need to be delivered at a particular address. The DIAD device is preprogrammed with time-sensitive parcels and the stops that coordinate with the regular loaded packages.
The DIAD device has Global Positioning enabled on it, which alerts the driver if they pulled up to a wrong address. It is true that logistics is all about moving property between the origin and its intended destination, but with UPS, it’s about much more than that alone. UPS logistics improvement is really about problem solving. It’s about re-evaluating how goods are moved, because maybe it’s better to move them to a direct location than to storage location or warehouses initially.
It’s about considering how the property is packaged, stored, tracked, imported, exported, billed, routed, repaired and returned. And about how this can all be done faster and more cost-effectively than ever before. With UPS, finding the right logistics solution is about making your business and its processes better, placing you at a competitive advantage and ultimately growing your business. That’s the improved logistics. Lessons learned from researching the UPS experience has been bountiful and includes:
Making the customer the #1 priority and continue it to build a relationship that will encourage trust. Continuing to learn what the customer’s overall goals are and immediately working toward it from day one. Always have a secondary or contingency plan when producing products or services for clients. Giving the customer visibility in the overall operation that involves their product is essential after trust has been established. REFERENCES Wilson, Tracy. (2009). How UPS Works. HowStuffWorks. com. Retrieved on December 17, 2010, from http://money. howstuffworks. com/ups. htm
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