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1. What are the inputs, processing, and outputs of UPS’s package tracking system?
Input is any raw data from within organization or from its external environment. Inputs for the UPS package tracking system include pick-up and delivery information gathered from scannable bar-coded labels. These labels include information about sender, destination, and package. Customers can create them using customized software or directly from the UPS website. Handheld computers also capture signatures for package proof of delivery. Additionally, they also collect timecard information for route drivers.
Processing involves a set of processes that converts raw data into a more meaningful format.
Data from the bar-coded label is transmitted for processing at one of the UPS’s computer centers in New Jersey or Georgia, and then sent to the distribution center nearest the packages final destination. The info is stored, classified and arranged so that the information can be assessed worldwide to provide proof delivery to customers. The outputs of the final processing include delivery routes checking, shipping rate calculation, time-in-transit determination, pickup scheduling and package tracking.
This information can be assessed by UPS’s customer service representatives or UPS customers to check the status of any package from computers or wireless devices.
2. What technologies are used by UPS? How are these technologies related to UPS’s business strategy?
These technologies include their handheld computers, called Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD), a network of computers, dedicated cellular telephone network, barcode scanning devices, and graphical user interface through its website. These technologies are central to the competitive advantage of UPS’s business and allow them to boost the customer service while keeping costs low and streamlining its overall operations.
DIAD enables them to transfer information as mentioned above digitally to the UPS computer network via cellular telephone network, so it’s received almost instantaneously.
Their computer network allows them to process this information in three different parts of the country and then transmit it worldwide. Costs are kept down by allowing customers to handle almost all transaction via the UPS website. Scanning devices allow packages to be tracked while en route UPS information system has enabled it to track packages while they are being transported. UPS also has the ability to provide tools that allow customers to embed functions in their own websites using Cisco Systems so that they don’t even have to go to the UPS website.
Their web-based post sales Order Management System manages global service orders and inventory for critical parts fulfillment which allows companies worldwide to quickly assess their critical parts inventory, determine the most optimal routing strategy, place orders online and then track from warehouse to end user. All of these technologies equate to efficiency, streamlined processes, and lower cost which helps UPS work towards its promise to be the best service at the lowest rates.
3. What strategic business objectives do UPS’s information systems address?
Their information systems allow them to provide the best service and the lowest costs through efficient and effect methods. Customers get what they want, when they want it…and they are able to provide it to them (with great help from technology) at lower costs.
4. What would happen if UPS’s information systems were not available?
Without their information systems, UPS wouldn’t be able to compete in today’s market, and they would definitely not be able to meet their objective of being the “best service and lowest rates.” Their technologies have propelled them forward and are necessary for their continued success.
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