Introduction: Sustainability Approaches for United Parcel Services
A corporate body is a group of persons or an organization that is openly identified by a specific name, and it usually participates in management as a unit. However, the term social responsibility refers to the idea where corporate bodies need to strike a balance between the profit-making motive and activities that benefit the society in which they are subject to operation. Therefore, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to when firms engage in contributing positively to the community by focusing minimally on profit maximization at the expense of the concerned stakeholders. The United Parcel Service adheres to CSR. UPS was founded in 1907 to enhance the provision of global logistics services. UPS is one of the most expanded package delivery companies in the world. It is as well a provider of solutions associated to supply chain management. UPS participates widely in the management sustainability approaches. UPS, being a globalized organization has employed about four hundred thousand people. In the year 2015 alone, UPS is speculated to have delivered approximately four billion packages across the world. UPS is also described to cover an extensive geographical region since it has the required operating facilities to execute its services. Great emphasis is usually advocated for by UPS on measures that concern the reporting of sustainability.
Case Study: UPS Actively Helps Undertake Sustainability
Sustainability gets regarded as a form of social responsibility. Social responsibility has a positive influence on either the customers or the employees. Sustainability brings the concept of the triple bottom line. These three primary lines, mainly known as the three P’s include: the Planet (the environment in which a firm operates), People, and Profits. The three P’s evaluate a corporation’s performance within the three listed basics. It is essential to understand the triple bottom line that the UPS exploits to achieve sustainability. People, who are subject to the social aspects view, enable UPS to engage in responsibilities among its present and potential employees as well as the community who form part of the UPS environment. The society may be in the region where a company is situated, or it can be where the associates of the employees live. UPS as a company performs well in enhancing the social responsibility approach when it executes talks regarding evaluating the company’s strongholds relationship-wise. Planet: which gets the view of the environmental aspect requires an organization to emphasize environmentally sustainable exercises.
The UPS utilizes this tripod by teaming with agencies such as Agility and TNT to extend help to the less fortunate as well as responding to cleaning derelict lands. Profit, which gets defined on the financial basis, assists a company to create layouts in various ways on how a company needs to incorporate pollution planning costs, as well as other financially associated costs. UPS as a group elaborates on this through giving back to the society; UPS formed an amalgam with Agility and TNT, and as a block, they exploited other companies’ equipment as a measure not to engage in unnecessary costs on their own within different countries.
UPS Sustainability Policies
A company that operates within a particular environment is obliged to be subject to corporate social responsibilities. The UPS has outlined a detailed five-step principle towards enhancing sustainability in a measure to ensuring the existence of a proper balance in the environment. These steps include: assessing possible strengths, choosing of spots diligently, the discovery of momentum, enhancing the building of productive partnerships, and tapping other sources that have power. These five principles help in the direct influence of UPS’s approach towards propelling environmental sustainability where the need to initiate and practice the triple bottom line is essential.
UPS has a well-defined transportation system which is safe to help in the delivery of goods on time. Also, the UPS vehicles and planes result to environmental hazard through emissions hence leading to pollution. The UPS, therefore, have the sole responsibility of investing in a bid to protect the cleanser planet. Additionally, in every investment that a company makes, such an investment should return value to the business hence reflecting another bottom line of profit making. Usually, the external business stakeholders, as well as the business insiders including the managers, pay considerable attention to ensure profit making for the concerned business during decision making (Rivera).
The UPS approach that works towards ensuring sustainability usually pays off when an analysis on specifics that UPS has accomplished gets reviewed. The focus towards sustainability allows UPS to acquire a large profit base form its potential customers in the United States and other international countries. With the UPS sustainability policies, the UPS loyal customers usually learn to trust the UPS logistics more hence even buying more from them. The idea of initiating more purchases from UPS by the customers means more money flows into UPS. The partnership policies and sustainability ideologies by UPS also assist in the process of increasing UPS profit base. Partnerships by the UPS have extensively helped during the world crisis periods thus giving the company the benefit of goodwill within the globe. Such form of goodwill makes customers use UPS for logistic purposes, and this again associates UPS to more profits.
UPS has been changing its philanthropic activities and responsibilities as years elapse through its basic concept that deals with donations. Charitable policies by UPS have enabled UPS to get aligned with its corporate mission which allows the process of carrying out commerce globally through the use of logistics in a familiar manner. UPS has recently engaged in several projects because its strategic drive towards enhancing sustainability favors the company (Rivera). Such strategies have enabled UPS to know what activities the company has to participate in and what actions it does not have to engage. From such experiences, UPS aims typically at initiating efficiency in its operations. Therefore, when the sustainability programs get guided by the SWOT matrix method of analysis, there would be a result of momentum in a company.
Considering UPS’s overall scope, UPS has engaged in some ethical behaviors besides its high standards of enhancing environmental sustainability. Ethics usually has a direct impact on the quality of the employees within the company. Hence, the enhancement of a stable level of ethics and environmental sustainability as the key policies help to influence many people to pursue jobs within the company. UPS as a company frequently evaluate all outcomes subject to positivity when engaging its workforce in seeking appropriate ethics as well as environmental sustainability. UPS being a company can quickly know if its policies are worthy.
UPS Strategy in Enhancing Sustainability
Competitiveness in strategies is the manner in which an industry differentiates itself from its competitors. UPS distinguishes its products through an Industry-Wide Distribution approach. Hence, at UPS there exists a stringent belief that an organization can only get stronger and mightier as its supply chain. The Supply Chain Strategy, with a touch of Consulting Services, makes a difference in how a company gets perceived. UPS particularly defines supply chain strategy as the process in which the supply chain needs to operate while carrying out business activities competitively. The Supply Chain Strategy is an interactive process that extremely evaluates the cost-benefit tradeoffs of the operating components. Business strategies involve the leveraging of specific organizational competencies to enhance the achievement of high-level defined objectives. Therefore, for UPS’s business strategy to flourish, UPS has to consider its stakeholders.
A stakeholder by definition refers to the specific groups of people whose interests are influenced by an organization’s activities either directly or indirectly. The stakeholders who can be internal or external rely on the UPS business strategy for the betterment of the environment. The internal stakeholders who include the shareholders, the employees, and the board of directors are affected positively by the UPS’s strategy towards sustainability. Hence, there exists no instance where an internal stakeholder may get influenced negatively. Meanwhile, the UPS’s Strategy to exercising supply chain may have an adverse effect to the UPS’s external stakeholders who include: unions, the distributors, present and potential customers, and the suppliers. The UPS Business Strategy as an approach towards sustainability has benefits in ensuring the company’s success because the strategy has a significant objective (Tsay and Narendra 559).
The United Parcel Service which has more than fifty-eight million tracking request has a constant and an immense growth of its customer base worldwide. About 9 million customers get services from the UPS on a daily basis. The innovative philosophy by UPS stems from the objective to have a more defined global initiative. The maintenance of an appropriate approach is deemed imperative in enhancing a globally competitive edge. As highlighted before, UPS distinguishes its products through a Differentiation Industry-Wide policy. Instead of giving focus concerning its pricing strategies, UPS aims at having the best form of services across its associated industry base. UPS offers services that assist a customer in the shipping of packages practically towards various world destinations relatively and inexpensively. During such deliveries, UPS promises its customers better services as well as timely deliveries.
The UPS servicing prices to its customers have shot up during the recent years in comparison to FedEx, its closest rival. However, the nature of quality service delivery practices has not diminished in the process. With newer technologies, the United Parcel Service has been able to offer product deliveries faster and in a more efficient manner to their customers’ door through sustainability approaches. Therefore as a global brand, UPS has developed an elaborate leadership structure which details their focus within the globe. According to the UPS team, some of the specific approaches and lessons from the previous periods help to enable the enhancement of sustainability in investments. The experiences include: the encouragement of innovation, adapting and tailoring of the solution, that no substitute exists for big data subject to the real-globe, leadership requires consistency and unwavering commitment, and engagements in partnerships, promotions, and reporting of progress.
UPS adopts the act of reactiveness when seeking out newly emerging businesses while also servicing the existing accounts responsibly. Success in the creation of inroads in particular areas within the world appeared unrealistic during different years of practicing trade by the UPS. The Eurasian market being a dynamic area has seen UPS focus in the allotment of resources to cement and solidify such specific markets. On June 28, 2016, (NYSE: UPS) the UPS highlighted one of its plans of opening a centralized hub within Paris, France by 2018 through an announcement. Such a move would give UPS an immense competitive plus for the coming years. The UPS Paris facility with a worth of 100 million US dollars, and subject to opening during the beginning of the first quarter of 2018, will put two of the UPS smaller facilities to replacement; the new upgrade of the UPS facility speculates that it will create more than 100 new jobs at UPS. The newly adopted UPS automated package technology will help minimize the time within transit to the final destination delivery point hence enhancing a prime edge in the maintenance of a healthier competition.
In recent times, the UPS reached out that it had achieved its objective of driving a distance of one billion miles within its advanced fleet technology. Such an achievement brought to book a more than a ten year period of learning from its specific “Rolling Laboratory.” The long-term interest of UPS to commitments in sustainability transforms logistics as well as commercial transportation thus initiating growth within the clean fuels markets of the world. Additionally, the UPS’s expansive scope in the advancement of sustainability g outlined within its 14th annual Sustainability Report. The Report is an example of the steps that UPS takes in a bid to improve their advantage specifics while still adhering to the stringent set goals that got introduced some many years before. The use of clean fuel gets viewed as a critical path since the need to safeguard the environment concerns UPS services within the planet. To respond to environmental clean fuel concerns, UPS has injected tens of millions of dollars to investments within the alternative fuel vehicles (Tsay and Narendra 557).
The UPS has also undoubtedly proved that it could maintain procedures and strategies that are flexible in a measure to meet the diversifying requirements of its active customers and the different stakeholders. Such a move is entirely apparent when statistics get considered through comparative studies undertaken between UPS and FedEx. UPS has a clear advantage concerning its history and the location of its services. UPS has an addition of sixty-four years of service in history compared to its counterpart, FedEx which was subject to operating as from 1971 hence such information alone hands UPS, the logical choice of being a multigenerational group of the worldly people. Also, UPS employees receive more benefits as compared to the FedEx employees. In the year 2010 alone, statistics indicate that the average UPS driver pockets more than 17 dollars within an hour. Concurrently, regarding the health and pension benefits, the UPS driver gets more favor than the FedEx driver. The retirement benefits, a clear health benefit, and a better caring of employees regarding wages usually sticks longer within a company hence presenting the brand’s positive light. UPS has maintained a profound competitive edge in several respects through a clear globally innovative approach within its information systems. The UPS motive to continue with the maintenance of a responsible leadership will keep it front-wise for the coming decades.
UPS Recommendations for the Future
The Recommended Strategies and long-term objectives for UPS
The UPS is one of the most seen brands and is openly recognized in the world currently. During its course of operating, UPS has touched more than ninety-eight percent of doorsteps within the American homes alone. To add on that, UPS has been able to reach its worldwide customers living in more than 200 countries, and it is also evident that about eight percent of the world’s population can get UPS services within forty-eight hours.
The growth strategy that UPS uses incorporates growth within its specific small business delivery package cores. The growth strategy also helps UPS to enter into new emerging markets. The growth efforts by UPS help in the leveraging of the UPS strategic alliances, market competencies, and external acquisitions. Within the core business, UPS is recommended to expand its service offering to customers and the existing product. The specific extensions towards the core include the offering of the US-based services that exist to a new geographical location or the introduction of the Guaranteed Ground as a new service. The external expansion towards the core includes forming an amalgam through alliances with Oracle and SAP; the coalition would lead to the inclusion of the UPS functionality within the UPS software packages as well as the acquisition of the Mail Boxes to help provide UPS sales services to about four thousand retail locations.
UPS shifted into what the managerial field refers to “the adjacent business” that resulted in the creation of subsidiary groups. Through such an adopted strategy as well as the developed corporate organizations, the UPS advocated through pilot projects on the need to initiate the small-scale initiatives (Rivera). The small efforts by UPS that proved to be successful got developed into the subsidiary units. During the period of the mid-1980, UPS had to offer a similar price to all its customers through its single package delivery services. The Federal Express, the Roadway Package System and other delivery companies had spurred competition against UPS through the excessive exploitation of opportunities within the delivery networks. The UPS gave a response by expanding its selected sets of products through the introduction of Time Definite Services and the offering of shipment. The various delivery times such as the UPS Third Day Select, the UPS Next Day Air, the UPS Next Early Day AM, and the UPS Second Day Air were recommended (Maus). The strategy introduced had a long-term motive of having a uniquely devised approach to its expanding customer base through the process of leveraging the intellectual capital together with the package delivery networks to enhance the provision of a swift and a coordinated move of funds, the information, and goods. The UPS timeline usually follows steps that ensure a new design strategy in all its dealings as from software packaging to collateral specifics such as delivery vehicles, and aircrafts.
Delivery vehicles: In the approaching future UPS as a company has proposed to acquire an automotive team as well as an industrialized engineering that will lead towards the secret deployment of more than one thousand three hundred newly decorated vehicles to help in the facilitation of the fleet. Such a move would buffer the current number of the UPS operating locomotives which tally to about 88,000 trucks (Lukas).
Aircraft: The UPS as a company needs several months to engage in test painting activities using its spare airliner which tallies to about 727 planes. In its future strategy, UPS is optimistic of acquiring more airplanes for making deliveries of goods within set geographical boundaries and specific timelines.
The UPS is therefore obliged to grow as per the world market trends through considering its central business strategies. The specific elements that UPS uses as recommended strategies and long-term goals include:
- Ensuring that meaningful promises among the present and potential customers get executed,
- Having a distinct and a well-elaborated vision subject to futurism, and
- Enhancing the participation of stakeholders within the organization
Key Initiatives enabled as Recommendations by UPS
Since various opportunities emerge, UPS had to shift from delivering messages to making package deliveries. The recommended initiatives include:
The UPS advanced from leading practices in the distribution of packages to being one of the sole enabler of commerce within the globe due to its existing new mission and purposeful dealings in its business (Lukas).
During the third step of the UPS strategic process, the centennial plan got formed as a result of the outcome of its meeting. The five-year version of the UPS strategic plan was subject to design to help in guiding the company to performing its celestial anniversary through the provision of the themes and specific business directions.
The fourth step (the safety roadmap) which gets directly viewed as a strategic process was put forward to help take and put the centennial plan to executable level.
UPS recommended the process of investments within its business cores that directly deal with the worldwide distribution logistics.
Enhancing of competencies within the integrating funds, the information, and goods
The exploitation of technology to enable the creation of new services
Attracting people who have talents to form the UPS corporate body
The studying and analysis of specific customer behavior and responding to their particular anticipating needs
The practicing and adoption of innovations that initiates to growth
Creation of a sustainable environment which leads and enables the UPS to treat every customer as if they were the only customers in existence
One of the dominant technologies that get exploited as a product by the UPS in the management of all the operations within all the business units is UPS’s attachments to the transportation unit and the internet. The UPS has the perception of being a technology trailblazer, and its success revolves around the UPS.com hence this is considerably viewed as a revelation. UPS was among some of the first companies to ensure the harnessing of the internet when it decided to launch its website in the year 1994; the site had a tracking application package that was viewed to be one of the truthful corporate websites due to its various services. Later on, UPS had to become one of the first transportation companies that had an interactive website. Customers could initiate the production of unique barcodes and attach them to their shipments. The request of carriers to pick up particular shipments became possible.
UPS exploitation of Technology
In today’s world, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has developed to be one of a company’s requirements. The tremendous growth and developments of the internet, the shifting technology, and the increasing demands of specific customer needs has put CRM to limelight by making it be one of the chief priorities of nearly all IT executive within the corporate world. CRM gets associated to being a valuable tool within all aspects of a company since the customer-specific interactive needs such as marketing, logistics, sales, customer service, or even a direct interaction with customers is initiated through interactions via web-based applications. The increasing difficulty of attracting the newly acquired customers within the today’s ever competitive environment has resulted in most companies to put a ruthless focus on the value and basis of retaining the present existing customers hence improving the view of every current present and potential customer. Great companies get separated and distinguished from good firms through the exploitation of Customer Relationship Management tool. The UPS has difficulties in implementing and enforcing the CRM. However, plans are underway to solve such a dilemma.
In case the UPS is not subject to the utilization of the CRM as a recommendable information system, more problems will emerge. Issues relating to the processes dealing with the provision of timely information to customers will emanate hence leading to delays in logistics. Such an approach would result in the effect of not being able to receive rapid details from the customers. Since UPS exploits technology and its related information in the monitoring process which is critically subject to the move of controlling information systems, the organization’s activities would come to a halt when the CRM system fails to execute tasks and commands. Such failures would force UPS to spend more on avoidable costs. The costs associated with the delivery and monitoring of the drivers would increase in case the information system fails to take effect. It is a recommendation for organizations to have a reliable CRM.
UPS New Business Model
According to the UPS, the Business Model depends on the several issues as well as its completion. Considering the current logistic operations carried out, UPS has been facing the increasing costs of fuel lately because the energy prices around the world have been escalating periodically thus leading to imbalances in futuristic planning. UPS being a logistics provider faces challenges of fluctuating fuel prices hence initiating the need to engage in the forwards and the futures financial markets to help in locking bids for energy prices because the fuel costs alone usually account for a significant part of the operational costs within the UPS. The increasing cost of fuel plays a considerable role in jeopardizing the profitability motive of the organization directly.
One of the initial alternatives to combating fuel shortages is to use less fuel. One of the cheapest ways to achieve such an objective is to enhance the usage of vehicles that are powered by alternative fuels. The use of hybrid cars also gets a recommendation. According to the UPS, its alternative fuel locomotives usually include trucks that get powered by the compressed natural gas, electricity, the liquefied natural gas or propane (Lukas). Another favorite and an efficient method to adopt is to encourage the use of minimum fuel through the use of a streamline package flow which should be subject to a worldwide basis through the identification of possible opportunities to acquire potential and efficient gains appropriately.
In consideration of the Just in Time system (JIT) of inventory management, UPS has furthered its continuous efforts through attempting to focus on in the process of designing a new, efficient, quick, responsive, and a smoother flow of the packages. Another dynamic business model that UPS uses to its opportunity involves investing in the specific research subject to logistics, and the initiation of new technologies hence enabling the lowering of the supply chain related issues which get directly associated with the delivery of goods from one geographical location to another in an efficient manner. In conducting such a versatile approach, UPS needs to invest in technology. Also, for UPS to overcome and outwit competition, the company is obliged to form an amalgam with the small business players. A merger with the competing variables in the world economy is also valuable, and such an approach would help create and increase revenues.
UPS has initially used dispatchers within their computer centers to make downloads about their label data. The label data is used together with special software to enable the creation process of possible routes subject to efficiency in consideration to the traffic nature of a particular road, the location of specific steps as well as weather conditions prevailing in various regions. The usage of such software by UPS is estimated to have saved three million gallons of combustible fuel on a yearly basis. This form of technology being exploited by the UPS within its business strategy gets deemed best as it gets associated with the lowest rates. Besides, in an effort by UPS to accomplish a suitable approach to business, the need increase the costs associated with saving and general safety becomes a priority. The method of 340 gets advocation from UPS to its drivers to help in optimizing the performance of each task from the lifting process of individual boxes; this should then proceed to the process of getting a particular selection from a given shelf within the truck until the completion of the process. Delivery Information Acquisition Device (DIAD), a handheld computing device used by the UPS usually helps in the accessing of the wireless cellular phone networks. DIAD gives recommendations to drivers who get to know the tasks get worked on through the instructions provided. The technology on DIAD also helps UPS workers capture the signature of the customers.
Implementation of UPS’s Future Sustainability Strategy
It is recommendable for UPS to use its Sustainability report to improve their reporting process. Some of the recommendations which UPS, being an organization, need to implement as part of its future sustainability strategies are discussed below:
Why UPS embraces a sustainable technology.
In the current world, customers expect accurate, quick and efficient services that are more accurate and have low reasonable costs. Customers and businesses using UPS for shipping purposes hope for similarities in treatment while sending or receiving particular goods. Only a few companies minimally respond to deal with customers under such circumstances. Companies have to be customer and product-centric seemingly. There are no firms which do not commit in the provision of excellent services to its clients. UPS which operates as a company is obliged to serve as a global player has all the reasons to practice sustainability in its technology. Measures to improve future technologies as a versatile way of predicting and defining technological sustainability are underway. A sustainable kind of technology is enhanced when there is a reduction of time, carbon emissions, and finances. Such approaches benefit UPS as a company as well as its customers. Sustainable technology as an approach has positive influences to UPS and the customers. The United Parcel Service is no exception to be devoid of utilization of time, labor, power, and capital while practicing sustainable technological strategies. Carbon emissions from the UPS locomotives need to get reduced in circumstances to enhance the implementation of sustainable technologies.
The Development of a sustainable MIS infrastructure
Sustainability in MIS infrastructure assists a company to develop regarding computing resources. At the same time, the same company depends minimally on the utilization of energy and hardware. Corporations are subject to growth computing strategies when there is a well-defined MIS infrastructure. UPS develops a sustainable MIS infrastructure through the use of the grid computing technology. Grid computing usually helps in the production of invoices and carrying out other transactions by spreading out tasks to different sets of computers instead of concentrating work in only one computer hence saving time, resources, and money.
A sustainable MIS infrastructure assists in cloud computing. As per my research from online sources, UPS does not own a cloud company. However, UPS is in its initial processes of being a proud owner of its cloud computing. Also, virtualization which relates to creating several virtual machines using a single computing device can get exploitation from UPS. The use of sensors also helps in the development of an MIS infrastructure that is sustainable.
Business benefits UPS may acquire from Virtualization.
Virtualization assists computers in running multiple operating systems, using a set of various software applications within the same network at the same time. A suitable MIS infrastructure is possible to function in case of virtualization application. Virtualization technology is easy to work with due to its overall efficiency while executing an organization’s duties. Besides, it saves on time, and it makes it easier to dispose of safely. UPS needs to be aggressive in the utilization of this kind of technology in great depth. Therefore, virtualization gets regarded to being one of the quickest means to achieving an MIS infrastructure that meets the organization’s needs due to its simplicity, and minimum power consumption.
Virtualization needs less equipment to work. The management does not have to assign the networks, the server, or the storage capacities to single applications permanently. Managers can preferably allocate specific hardware resources at the time of need, hence achieving scalability and flexibility which a company strategizes to gain in the course of its operation. Again, through the implicit differentiation of the operating systems from the hardware component, the virtual machine enables the company to recover from either hardware failures or disasters quickly. Virtualization primarily executes data backups and recoveries. Exploitation of virtual servers, notably Google and Microsoft, to hosting the retrieval of data is extensively sustainable as compared to a single firm that incurres possible expenses of operating redundant systems that are physical.