United Parcel Service
Notes for the writer: Please follow all instructions below in order to complete this assignment. There is also a video that can be viewed by yourself for better understanding of this coursework, by simple dragging your cursor over the word (video) listed in the first line labeled in blue. Please use the attachments I send for extra guidelines and also make sure to answer: Questions (1-5) below, using APA Formatting, using the correct vocabulary. This needs to be 2 Double spaced pages, not including the title page. Thank you for your assistance.
TOPIC::: UPS and the Utility of Information Systems
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After reading chapter one, watch the : (Real Media Player can be downloaded for free at ) and read the additional write-up on page 16 of your text. Answer the questions listed below using APA format. Be sure to integrate vocabulary from the text to demonstrate your understanding of concepts. The paper should not exceed 2 double-spaced pages (excluding title page).
United Parcel Service’s operations are driven by its information systems technology. Beginning as a local delivery service in 1907, UPS expanded on the West coast initially, reached New York in the 1930s, and went international in the 1970s. Today, UPS delivers over 14 million packages daily to 200 countries and territories. A $1.5 billion technology investment in the 1980s buoyed the growth of UPS. The investment enabled the development of the International Shipments Processing System (ISPS), which is the key to the company’s overseas operations. The technology infrastructure enables UPS to offer its customers services in addition to the basic shipment of packages. UPS drivers play an important role in the company’s services by capturing information at the endpoints of each delivery segment. Volume, cultural differences, and hardware readiness all impact the development and continued growth of UPS.
What external factors affect international operations at UPS?
How do these factors cause UPS to adjust its operations?
What are the inputs, processing, and outputs of UPS’ tracking system.
What technologies are used by UPS? How are these technologies related to UPS’ business model and business objectives?
What problems do UPS’s information systems solve?
Writer: this is some of the pages of information regarding this assignment, please read and use any of this information, added with the guidelines I have provided in the first attachment. Thank you.
The World Wide Web is a service provided by the Internet that uses universally accepted standards for storing, retrieving, formatting, and displaying information in a page format on the Internet. Web pages contain text, graphics, animations, sound, and video and are linked to other Web pages. By clicking on highlighted words or buttons on a Web page, you can link to related pages to find additional information and links to other locations on the Web. The Web can serve as the foundation for new kinds of information systems such as UPS’s Web-based package tracking system or Synergy Sports Technology’s online service for delivering video linked to NBA team statistics.
All of these technologies, along with the people required to run and manage them, represent resources that can be shared throughout the organization and constitute the firm’s information technology (IT) infrastructure. The IT infrastructure provides the foundation, or platform, on which the firm can build its specific information systems. Each organization must carefully design and manage its information technology infrastructure so that it has the set of technology services it needs for the work it wants to accomplish with information systems. Chapters 4 through 7 of this text examine each major technology component of information technology infrastructure and show how they all work together to create the technology platform for the organization.
The Interactive Session on Technology describes some of the typical technologies used in computer-based information systems today. UPS invests heavily in information systems technology to make its business more efficient and customer oriented. It uses an array of information technologies including bar code scanning systems, wireless networks, large mainframe computers, handheld computers, the Internet, and many different pieces of software for tracking packages, calculating fees, maintaining customer accounts, and managing logistics. As you read this case, try to identify the problem this company was facing, what alternative solutions were available to management, and how well the chosen solution worked.
INTERACTIVE SESSION: TECHNOLOGY UPS Competes Globally with Information Technology
United Parcel Service (UPS) started out in 1907 in a closet-sized basement office. Jim Casey and Claude Ryan—two teenagers from Seattle with two bicycles and one phone—promised the “best service and lowest rates.” UPS has used this formula successfully for more than a century to become the world’s largest ground and air package-distribution company. It is a global enterprise with more than 400,000 employees, 92,000 vehicles, and the world’s eighth largest airline.
Today, UPS delivers more than 15 million parcels and documents each day in the United States and more than 200 other countries and territories. The firm has been able to maintain leadership in small-package delivery services despite stiff competition from FedEx and Airborne Express by investing heavily in advanced information technology. UPS spends more than $1 billion each year to maintain a high level of customer service while keeping costs low and streamlining its overall operations.
It all starts with the scannable bar-coded label attached to a package, which contains detailed information about the sender, the destination, and when the package should arrive. Customers can download and print their own labels using special software provided by UPS or by accessing the UPS Web site. Before the package is even picked up, information from the “smart” label is transmitted to one of UPS’s computer centers in Mahwah, New Jersey, or Alpharetta, Georgia and sent to the distribution center nearest its final destination. Dispatchers at this center download the label data and use special software to create the most efficient delivery route for each driver that considers traffic, weather conditions, and the location of each stop. UPS estimates its delivery trucks saved 28 million miles and 3 million gallons of fuel in 2006 compared to the year before as a result of using this technology.
The first thing a UPS driver picks up each day is a handheld computer called a Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD), which can access one of the wireless networks cell phones rely on. As soon as the driver logs on, his or her day’s route is downloaded onto the handheld. The DIAD also automatically captures customers’ signatures along with pickup and delivery information. Package tracking information is then transmitted to UPS’s computer network for storage and processing. From there, the information can be accessed worldwide to provide proof of delivery to customers or to respond to customer queries. It usually takes less than 60 seconds from the time a driver presses “complete” on the DIAD for the new information to be available on the Web.
Through its automated package tracking system, UPS can monitor and even re-route packages throughout the delivery process. At various points along the route from sender to receiver, bar code devices scan shipping information on the package label and feed data about the progress of the package into the central computer. Customer service representatives are able to check the status of any package from desktop computers linked to the central computers and respond immediately to inquiries from customers. UPS customers can also access this information from the company’s Web site using their own computers or wireless devices.
Anyone with a package to ship can access the UPS Web site to track packages, check delivery routes, calculate shipping rates, determine time in transit, print labels, and schedule a pickup. The data collected at the UPS Web site are transmitted to the UPS central computer and then back to the customer after processing. UPS also provides tools that enable customers, such Cisco Systems, to embed UPS functions, such as tracking and cost calculations, into their own Web sites so that they can track shipments without visiting the UPS site.
UPS is now leveraging its decades of expertise managing its own global delivery network to manage logistics and supply-chain management for other companies. It created a UPS Supply Chain Solutions division that provides a complete bundle of standardized services to subscribing companies at a fraction of what it would cost to build their own systems and infrastructure. These services include supply-chain design and management, freight forwarding, customs brokerage, mail services, multimodal transportation, and financial services, in addition to logistics services.
Hired Hand Technologies, a Bremen, Alabama-based manufacturer of agricultural and horticultural equipment, uses UPS Freight services not only to track shipments but also to build its weekly manufacturing plans. UPS provides up-to-the-minute information about exactly when parts are arriving within 20 seconds.
Using a handheld computer called a Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD), UPS drivers automatically capture customers’ signatures along with pickup, delivery, and time card information. UPS information systems use these data to track packages while they are being transported.
The system must also provide information to satisfy the needs of managers and workers. UPS drivers need to be trained in both package pickup and delivery procedures and in how to use the package tracking system so that they can work efficiently and effectively. UPS customers may need some training to use UPS in-house package tracking software or the UPS Web site.
UPS’s management is responsible for monitoring service levels and costs and for promoting the company’s strategy of combining local cost and superior service. Management decided to use automation to increase the ease of sending a package using UPS and of checking its delivery status, thereby reducing delivery costs and increasing sales revenues.
The technology supporting this system consists of handheld computers, bar code scanners, wired and wireless communications networks, desktop computers, UPS’s central computer, storage technology for the package delivery data, UPS in-house package tracking software, and software to access the World Wide Web. The result is an information system solution to the business challenge of providing a high level of service with low prices in the face of mounting competition.
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