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United Parcel Service : Information Technology

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Essay title: United Parcel Service : Information Technology

Information Technology

United Parcel Service Incorporated was formerly known as United Parcel Service of America. The principal activities of the group are express carrier, package delivery and provision of specialized transportation and logistics services. The primary business of the group is the time-definite delivery of packages and documents throughout the United States and other countries. They have increased their mission from a company striving for excellence in the small package delivery industry to a company who enables global commerce. The company that started with a focus on transporting packages evolved in to the delivery company of choice for department stores across United States. UPS culminated to be a premier enabler of global commerce, offering a plethora of related services including small package, distribution, supply chain management, consulting and financial services.

The new look UPS internet website and its new logo symbolizing “one company, one vision, one brand” portrays their outlook for the future. The statistics are overwhelming with an average of 12 million hits per day and logs more than 150,000 user sessions accounting for over 700,000 tracking requests. As a result, UPS employs over 4,000 technology personnel and expends some $1,200 million per year on information technology (, 2006). Shipping and tracking, the two package-delivery business related tabs are prominent and the resources would take the customer to a content rich page that gives information on shipping activity, all services, and rates. The Business Solutions tabs take one to the page meant for business looking to benefit from the company’s supply chain management, e-commerce, and logistics expertise. The company has undergone a huge transformation from being a package delivery giant focused primarily on the US domestic market, to a global enabler of e-commerce and supply chain solutions provider. UPS divides its business into three segments, the US package business, the international package business, and the non-package segment. As a result, the new website reflects the company’s new focus with a truly unified and integrated picture of UPS (United Parcel, 2006).

UPS also developed its own bar-coding technique called Maxi code. It is used to record information on the packages and scanners and also scan and keep track of packages from source to destination. The scanning systems in conjunction with the maxi coded shipping labels were initially used for internal tracking of shipments at UPS and it later was enhanced and extended to provide the customers with package status from the 800 numbers. Through the nineties the UPS business strategy had been focused on improving its package delivery business leveraging the information technology to get closer to customers and provide more customer focused solutions. The vision had driven the design of initial UPS internet website. However the new opportunities offered by the internet and World Wide Web formed the basis for UPS’s new business strategy (Mit, 2005).

UPS utilized internet technology to improve the internal communications and business processes within the organization. The company used intranet as a two-way communication channel with its employees. The intranet website acts as a source for technology and business related information. Customer focused information solutions are aimed at enabling customers of all sizes to do business with UPS. UPS Online host access, UPS Online professional, and UPS Online office are software shipping solutions targeted at large, medium, and small customers. These solutions simplify a customer’s task of shipping a package through UPS. The Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD) introduced in 1989 was a major step towards automation of package level data acquisition. The DIAD allowed two-way communication between the package center or dispatcher and the driver. DIAD could capture such details like date, time, location of package delivery, and other information such as the name of the person who received the package. The latest innovation is the DIAD IV serves as the competition to FedEx’s PowerPad. These two devices are similar in all aspects except for the fact that UPS strives to utilize their pre-installed cellular transmitters in the trucks by synching the handhelds directly

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