How UPS delivers faster using $8 headphones and code that decides when dirty trucks get cleaned

Description:  Inside EDGE: the shipping giant’s ambitious, tech-driven bid to keep Amazon and others at bay.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Date: Feb 16. 2018

UPS workers make dozens of decisions every day, and the wrong ones—from placing a box on the wrong conveyor belt inside a processing facility to loading it onto the incorrect delivery vehicle—could keep you from getting your packages on time.

Avoiding those mistakes, and doing so efficiently, is key to the company’s survival. The boom in e-commerce means UPS now delivers as many as 31 million packages a day. Keeping track of all that is an immensely difficult problem. It’s made worse because fulfilling online orders often requires driving to far-flung residences. That is more expensive for UPS than delivering to businesses, where drivers typically can leave and pick up multiple packages at each stop. read rest of story

1.  What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?

2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?


86 thoughts on “How UPS delivers faster using $8 headphones and code that decides when dirty trucks get cleaned

  1. Daman Singh

    One of the biggest threat the UPS is going to face is Amazon’s low-cost delivery service. Although there is mention in the article that Amazon will have technology in the centre of their operations, the setbacks that Amazon will face against UPS are also discussed. Being present in smaller towns and rural areas is a strength that UPS possess, and it is true that these networks are very hard to create and maintain. However, because Amazon does have a large consumer base, it will be easier and cheaper for them to switch to an in-house shipping service. This will not impact the consumers, and therefore will not disrupt their day-to-day activities since they can continue with the company they currently use, up until their in-house system is ready to use.
    Another threat that UPS faces is the emergence of other technologies which may negatively impact their other departments. UPS also offers packaging, and printing services. With the use of technology, machines may be able to pack delicate items better than humans, which would eliminate the jobs of several individuals who are skilled in this field. Furthermore, this could lead to the shutting down of some UPS stores, since through the use of technology, it may require less shipping points to distribute parcels with the use of self-driving cars and better mapping technologies.
    Because UPS is aware of the threat posed by Amazon, they can use this as an opportunity to partner with them and create a smaller delivery service company. This will enhance and solidify the relationship between Amazon and UPS and will effectively remove them from being a threat. UPS has seen an increase in the number of packages that need to be delivered due to the increased use of Amazon. This partnership could also allow UPS to enhance their existing technology, with the help of Amazon, to reduce human error and make deliveries even more efficiently.
    Another opportunity that UPS has is in the form of the data that they collect. This data can be used to predict trends in the markets and seasons, and even target consumers with offers. This will lead to more consumers using their service, therefore a higher revenue, but will also enhance customer relations. The current use of technology to send consumers an email with information regarding the arrival date and time of their packages is making it, even more, customer friendly and customer focused. The addition of added features will enhance this.

  2. Cheryl Desaunoy

    1. UPS Threats and Opportunities
    The growing pains of economic boom in e-commerce presents a threat to UPS package delivery system with the increased volume to estimated 31 million packages per day. This boom has challenged and taxed a delivery system and left UPS scrambling to deliver. The race to handle the huge volume is magnified by Amazon’s announcement to launch its own low-cost delivery service, boldly placing itself as a direct competitor bidding for the same e-commerce business. Even though Amazon dwarfs UPS by available capital in the new business venture department, UPS already has the established worldwide network, delivery technology and expertise required for its customers loyalty. Amazon would have to start from scratch to develop their infrastructure and delivery systems. Amazon does have the resources and technology to become a formidable competitor forcing UPS to address these challenges by using theses opportunities to advance UPS Analytics and Data Collection program, “EDGE” (enhanced dynamic global execution) and further to develop their AI technology into EDGE. Sometimes the landscape of the future dictates the timing of developing the technology long before research studies reveal the need. Time is the focus for both UPS and Amazon resulting in both positive and negative results. Considering UPS’s position, the downside of responding to competition by fast forwarding the analytics and AI technology development could result in essential operational errors costing UPS revenue and customers. Amazon’s plan to launch a low-cost delivery service translates into a longer delivery window for their customers. Even though Amazon would have a guaranteed market share, they would be faced with deciding between low cost slow speed or waiting until their infrastructure are all in place before launching their delivery service, giving UPS the required lead time to develop and implement AI technology.

  3. Callum Wallace

    I think the most obvious of threats to UPS would be the inevitable emergence of a low-cost carrier operated by Amazon. The reason for this being such an issue would be firstly that Amazon currently ships an estimated 1.6 million packages a day, with that number growing. If Amazon were to self source their distribution service, this would undoubtedly take away a large portion of the business that UPS performs. Similarly, another threat would be that one posed to the other business that UPS conducts. If Amazon is able to do that same work better and more efficient, due to their current upper hand in technology, as well as being more cost effective, it will be very difficult for companies like UPS to compete. Ultimately, this will result in further losses to market share and profits.

    With the emergence of AI and more sophisticated means of carrying out distribution services, companies like UPS are able to track more accurately their activities and offer a better, more reliable service to their customers. If UPS can increase their efficiency and simultaneously lower their costs, they may be able to somewhat mitigate the losses that will be caused by Amazon’s introduction to the scene. It may be an opportunity for UPS to move into a more specialized role of assisting commercial customers more so than consumers in their distribution needs.

  4. Jake Labossiere

    The biggest threat to UPS right now is the fact that Amazon is far superior to them with customer and package tracking. Once Amazon has launched its package delivery service UPS will be in an uphill battle to keep their customers coming back to them and not switching over to Amazon. Setting up their new system is paramount to ensure the elimination of employee level errors. Preventable errors are no longer acceptable due to the increased efficiency and accuracy of electronic and AI systems. Amazon has an advantage in AI systems but UPS still currently hold an advantage with their intercity delivery networks.
    UPS Delivery Infrastructure is far superior at the moment to Amazons and it will be a race between the both of them to strengthen their weakness’. If UPS is able to design and Implement their new technologies they will be in a good position to continue to grow their business. It will take a substantial amount of money and time for Amazon to purchase delivery trucks and hire drivers.

  5. Nicholas Herman

    The biggest threat that UPS faces is amazon and how quickly they are expanding and innovating. Amazon is announcing the ability to deliver packages within the same day using drones and this will greatly impact UPS and force them to innovate even more. If the product a customer wants is on amazon for cheaper than it is offered on a site that would use UPS to ship would hinder their sales because amazon would keep all the revenue. UPS needs to find a way to compete with companies like amazon if they want to keep a strong hold on the market. I believe companies like UPS will always be in business because we will always need companies to deliver goods for us which are not bought online but if they want to get a larger hold on the market they will have to directly compete with amazon. In the article it is saying that UPS is figuring out how to curtail delays and give consumers more details about upcoming deliveries which can be very beneficial for the company. They are also becoming more efficient with their operations which will lead to cost savings for the company and allow them to compete with companies like amazon. Also in the article it is talking about how UPS still botches deliveries and this could be bad and leave customers unhappy. Especially if they are not able to directly track the package they bought. I personally think they will not be able to compete with amazon and will lose a lot of business to them.

  6. Cody Dick

    1. What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?
    The two biggest factors that pose a threat to UPS going forward are for one the huge loss of potential market share if Amazon creates their own delivery system. Amazon is very competent in systems and information and have a high amount of skill behind them should they with to change. This effectively not only becomes a huge new direct competitor but also looses their biggest customer in the process.

    2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?
    Growth in industry’s sending mail packages direct to door provides further market share to capture. EDGE which is short for enhanced dynamic global execution is a program UPS is looking at to better streamline workers, deliveries and even training. This presents huge cost savings the company believes would occur. Delivery is all about efficiency and this new information system will further help them gain advantages in the growing market.

  7. Brendan Ficiur

    One of their biggest threats is definitely the threat of competition, especially Amazon. If they were to go through with their plan to start a delivery service, they would have several advantages over UPS. The first is the amount of capital they have, as one of the worlds biggest companies. Probably more important is the millions of people who use their product routinely, meaning they have a massive potential user base to draw from. It would also be easy to get them to use their new service, as they are already ordering from Amazon, and they wouldn’t care whether they are getting it from Amazon of UPS as long as they get it in time. Their third advantage is their access to new technologies, as the article outlines. Whether it be drones or AI, Amazon is always at the forefront of new technologies that could help them here.
    Their best opportunities lay in the fact they are an established company, that has withstood to test of time to become a market leader. This means that they have the infrastructure, and the ability to develop new technologies, such as their EDGE program. These are advantages Amazon would not have, as they would have to develop this from scratch. Their use of analytics especially gives them a huge head start, as even with Amazons technology it would take years to get to the same level. Still, given their huge pre-existing user base, I believe that Amazon could eventually become the market leader if they were willing to put the resources into it.

  8. Joshua Wong

    Looks like UPS is now facing one of their biggest threats called Amazon. Having competition like this is beneficial to the consumer as it forces companies like UPS to improve their own game. The new EDGE program is one of the results of the rivalry and if the source is correct the 200-300 million dollar savings would in return earn more profits for UPS. UPS have been around for a while and the lack of additional resources in the technology department is the limiting factor for UPS currently. If they can develop newer technologies, they can expand into markets previously unobtainable like more remote regions. Artificial intelligence technologies have a high potential for UPS to close the gap and be more competitive to Amazon. If UPS is able to develop a working AI, they can augment existing practices to improve efficiency and lower mistakes. While not as around as long as UPS, Amazon has experienced great growths and expansion in a short time with new technologies in development. Amazon, however has a large lead in technology and research when compared to more well-established delivery companies. This results in great technology but poorer in delivery aspects when compared to companies like UPS that are dedicated to that industry alone. The EDGE program by UPS will put pressure on Amazon in the low-cost delivery service.

  9. Jake Ichelson

    The two biggest threats facing UPS would be Amazon and its ability to enter the parcel delivery market, and UPS lagging behind in Artificial Intelligence. Amazon entering the parcel delivery market would deal a huge blow to UPS’s control in the market and possibly be able to end their control of the market. Amazon may not have such an extensive system set up as UPS does now, but their ability to start with scratch with the advantages of technology to help them quickly integrate themselves into the market could see them quickly and efficiently dominate and kick UPS from their control. UPS also is behind Amazon in the use of Artificial Intelligence. Expansion in this field can help a company with the ability to maximize their efficiency and reduce the possible cost of labour and human error. This gives Amazon an extreme advantage if they decided to increase their presence in the parcel delivery industry.
    The biggest opportunities for UPS moving forward is how they already have a well set up and established system in the parcel delivery market. A system as expansive and worldwide such as UPS’s is incredibly hard to create let alone maintain. With this wide market having been previously set up, UPS has a huge head start in beating out any competition that comes their way. They can maintain this control over the market with more investment in technology to increase their efficiency and reduce overall costs of operations.

  10. Carson Kleiboer

    What are the 2 biggest threats to UPS moving forward?
    I strongly believe the two biggest threats to UPC is their strong competition and their overall lack of the utilization of technology. I would also state that amazon is one of their largest market competitors. I believe this because Amazon has been advancing their technologies to make their overall work easier as well, they have been investing in technologies such as drones that can deliver packages for them. With this being said that means that they will not need a courier service to deliver their packages, thus phasing UPS out. Another threat to UPS is how they are late to the game in the sense of technology. Its stated how they are just started to implement technologies that will help sort out their vast array of packages and thus overall improving their delivery system (supply chain). They two largest opportunities for UPS going forward would be for them to take full advantage of the technologies that are available to them in todays societies. If they would implement them and improve their overall services. If they would focus on improving their organizational and sorting of packages they could overall save time and in turn money, thus becoming more efficient. Another large advantage that UPS holds is that they are in cooperation with a lot of companies as their primary courier system. If they could just improve their supply chain management they could improve efficiency and in turn increase their overall profit/bottom line.

  11. Alexander Moumdjian

    UPS is facing a huge threat from competition, especially from Amazon who has customer tracking technology. Amazon is already a giant in the online shopping sector, and has an integrated shipping service already. However, there delivery system is not as complex as UPS or FedEx. The opportunity posed by UPS is the EDGE system, which will be saving them lots of money in the years to come. It gives them more control over their delivery trucks and packages. AI will also give benefits to the company and the consumer. Delivery trucks equipped with Bluetooth receivers will decrease the likelihood of misloaded packages.

  12. Jessica Abel

    1. What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?
    2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?

    Some of the biggest threats to UPS going forward is the fast competition that will grow when Amazon launches their low cost delivery service. This may cause a huge financial loss. Even though they have a huge opportunity with there EDGE technology that “calculates the most efficient way for drivers to complete their routes” and all of their investments in new machines that automatically sort packages and developing technologies to reroute that help with both costs and delays, they still will be no competition for the cost savings people with obtain when they choose to go through Amazon instead. The main thing that UPS needs to look at is finding a way to lower their prices. Yes, people want fast delivery times but Amazon is also able to provide this. What they really need to be focusing on is customer service, by providing a faster, cheaper and friendlier service to there new huge competitor. Amazon has already proven that they are more than capable of delivering packages on time, at the right location and with few other errors. Ups really needs to become more innovation and figure out a plan that would make them a superior service to Amazon. At the current time it does not seem like there will be anything that sets them apart and Amazon will most likely provide services at a much lower cost. If there is no change, it seems like UPS is in serious financial danger.

  13. Eric Laxdal

    1. What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?
    it seems to me that the two biggest issues UPS will have going forward is the completion that will come from amazon if they get a delivery system up and running and also the lost revenue that will come from amazon no longer outsourcing the delivery of the millions of items that they sell every day. if amazon succeeds in starting a successful delivery system for their products they will instantly have a large share of the market due to how much of the deliveries that are made on a daily basis are purchased on and through amazon. Amazon is a leader in the technological industry and will most likely be able to develop a IT system that will be more efficient than the one UPS is currently using which would then take away the comparative advantage that they have over UPS.
    2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?
    i would say that the 2 biggest opportunities for UPS are the fact that they already have a thriving network and distribution system in place that would be very costly and time consuming to replicate and the fact that they are taking the right steps towards integrating the data and analytics of their current delivers to the future IT programs they are developing to make themselves more efficient.

  14. Kate Potts

    The biggest threats to UPS moving forwards are the competitions that they’re expected to face a lot more competition in the industry especially from companies like Amazon who have created an already working framework for this kind of in the past. This is an issue because while ups still figure this out it leaves the room still open for the competitors to take over the market share more. I believe that there will also be an issue with the general strategy implementation to happen, this very large project will need to be increasingly far stretching to ensure all branches are able to implement this at the same time and ensure the continued quality from its inception, definitely feasible but if not successful there could be larger issues that would allow competitors to move forward into the market.

    Although this new initiative comes with some risk of threats, the opportunities for expansion that UPS needs to stay competitive are happening right now, with the large increase in packages it is necessary for the competitive nature of the industry. Aside from the needed competitive increase, the opportunity of increasing and introducing technologies into the industry will allow for an increase in productivity and hopefully will allow this expansion to occur without needed to increase the workforce.

  15. Norman Gould

    The two biggest threats to UPS are new competition entering the market, like Amazon, and the lag in creating new opportunities to improve using technology. While Amazon may lack the expertise in delivering a physical package it makes up for it in their ability of tracking packages for customers. It wasn’t until 2016 that UPS started to use analytics to track data across all of its facilities and because of this it is lagging behind companies like Amazon who use analytics to support their business objectives.

    The first opportunity that UPS has is that it seems committed to a data program “enhanced dynamic global execution” or EDGE and has 25 projects based on the data that this program acquired. It also has committed $1 billion to its technology budget. Also UPS uses its own mapping software “on-road integrated optimization and navigation” or ORION to efficiently plan delivery drivers routes. The fact that UPS has responded to a threat in the market and can see opportunities for improvements in a company that is a world leader in parcel delivery is a key reason why they see programs like EDGE as a method for continued success.

  16. Grant Stewart

    What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?

    The biggest threat to UPS is amazon finding a cheaper and more effective way to transport their products and dumping UPS as a fulfilment service. The next biggest threat is how they will stay relevant with other fulfilment services and keep up competitively. UPS is kind of at a crossroads tech they have been using so far is not good enough to sustain and they have to be constantly improving, meanwhile Amazon and other big companies are wanting to do the shipping in house to cut costs and make consumers happy with faster shipping.

    What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?

    The biggest opportunities for UPS are again in the technological field, by staying relevant technologically they are able to soar past competition because of name and brand recognition. This is a huge advantage that UPS has over other services and competitors just entering the field. The other big opportunity is making a better partnership with Amazon to be able to be the main shipping service for amazon and just snuffing out the Amazon shipping service by having lower costs and better service than what amazon could create. UPS has an amazing opportunity to clinch the top shipping service in the United States. This would be huge for them and give them some leverage with any negotiations with Amazon or any other online retailer. It’s up to UPS to know if they want to be relevant or fade into obscurity.

  17. Braden Marks

    UPS will face Amazon as their biggest threat moving forward. With Amazon already dominating the delivery market they have the funds and technological researches to increase the volume of deliveries against UPS. For example, the use of drones would be far more convenient and create much faster delivery to customers than what UPS is using to deliver. UPS, although big, does not meet the technology requirements to keep up to a competitive delivery retailer like Amazon. People will use a delivery system that is cheap and faster so UPS needs to come up with a way to technologically advance up to or ahead of Amazon and a way to keep costs low enough that consumers are willing to use their delivery system. One of the big opportunities moving forward with UPS would be the installation of their new program EDGE, which, quoted from the source, is estimated to save them $200-300$ million a year. UPS is also expanding their range, this could allow them to grow bigger and operate in places that their competition is absent, a place where they can be the only ones and dominate that regional market. But, there is nothing stopping its competitors, like Amazon from doing the same, so UPS needs to find a way to build on their technology and implement more modernized methods of transportation. UPS is slowly creating more AI to further their presence in the delivery market, by investing in facilities and technologies that, for example, reroute packages and planes to minimize cost.

  18. Kirana Stocker

    UPS is constantly reminded of the importance of staying up to date in the market place with their delivery services. With intense competition in the booming e-commerce market, UPS is forced to view advanced analytics as its lifeline in the market place. One of the biggest competitors UPS faces is Amazon. It has been suggested that Amazon has the funds and ability to develop the technology they need to become a leader in the distribution in e-commerce. At this time, Amazon’s current delivery components are behind that of UPS, despite their strong presence in cities. Amazon is also in a key position in the market place as they have a head start in artificial intelligence while UPS is still trying to catch up.

    With this being said, one of the two opportunities UPS is looking at in the future is enhanced dynamic global execution (EDGE). This program will direct how workers place packages inside their delivery trucks, to how temporary hires are trained during the busy holiday seasons. UPS is anticipating that this technology with save the company up to $300 million per year. Having this technology will increase the efficiency of their delivery system, which will translate into speeding up the process of the consumer receiving their package. EDGE is only the start to several technology projects UPS is undertaking to improve their delivery systems. UPS has also implemented their ORION program (on-road integrated optimization and navigation), which calculates the most efficient way for drivers to complete their designated routes.

  19. Ben Cowan

    1. What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?
    Going forward, the two biggest threats facing UPS are the potential for Amazon to develop a low-cost package delivery service and the challenge of consistently reducing mistakes in an efficient manner. The largest of these threats is the potential for Amazon to emerge as a major competitor. Amazon has seen tremendous success as an online marketplace and, as the article points out, is making significant strives towards utilizing artificial intelligence and improving customer-tracking capabilities. The challenge of efficiently reducing mistakes is less pressing, simply because UPS has already made great improvements in this area: examples highlighted by the article include the development of technology that indicates to workers when incorrect packages are being loaded onto trucks, and the development of a process that allows incorrectly shipped packaged to be returned and sort in a quick and efficient manner, particularly during the busier months of November to January, when large amounts of temporary workers are required.

    2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?
    The two largest opportunities going forward would be the potential for AI technology to further improve efficiency and mistake reduction, and the diversified way UPS is currently combating the challenges it faces (that is, the fact that UPS is simultaneously developing several new technologies and projects that could be used to improve the company’s competitiveness and efficiency). The article makes a point of highlighting Amazon’s recent developments in AI technology as a reason for its threat to UPS, so it seems logical to suggest that a significant opportunity exists for UPS to combat this challenge through its own development of AI technology.

  20. Zharen

    1. What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?
    Two of the biggest threats to UPS going forward are their competitors such as Amazon, and the increase of volumes of orders. With Amazon competitive advantage of having an advance technology that makes their delivery faster and be able to deliver their products to their customers on their own and in much faster and time, this is a threat for UPS. Also, financially, Amazon will be able to surpass UPS because they have a financial assets to expand their service much more faster than it already is currently. Amazon planning to use drones to deliver their products in the future, this is a big threat for UPS. With the increase of volumes of order and lack, employees would make more mistakes in scanning and moving the packages around, unless they create a better system to have an efficient and effective way that moves their packages faster then they might be still in competition. The two biggest opportunity for UPS going forward is technology advancement and improve their new technology EDGE. With their new technology they can make their delivery for efficient and effective, which will satisfy their customers because of their fast delivery. Therefore, if UPS used their new technology and improve on it, they will still be competitive.

  21. Dale Smith

    1. What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?

    Amazon is one of the biggest threats facing UPS; more specifically, this threat focuses on Amazons rumors to join the parcel delivery circuit. If these rumors are correct the online giant may potentially have enough infrastructure to push UPS out of the picture. My reasoning for this is that regular deliveries are on the decline while deliveries for products purchased online is rapidly increasing, this is where amazon is a giant with a giant portion of the market shares. The threat this poses comes from Amazon deciding their own delivery service would cut costs resulting in a loss of a growing business for UPS. For the mean time UPS is leading in the delivery service but if they don’t find a way of to curb their other threat they might fall behind.

    Lack of advancements revolving around AI is the next biggest threat facing UPS, more so, their lack there of. UPS has started implementing modern technology to help curb human error and cut costs, which is an excellent starting point. However, this is an area where Amazon excels meaning that if they are unable to meet the industry standards for this area they might potentially fall behind. This threat is also a potential opportunity as it allows for a lot of growth.

    2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?

    UPS has vast opportunities revolving around advancing technologies. The two main opportunities that I would focus on are AI and further advanced analytics. AI would help to reduce the volume of human error mistakes resulting in lost hours and additional mileage. Further aspects for this could be looking into remote delivery options, such as Amazons usage of drones for short distance deliveries. AI would also be able to sort products quicker and more accurately than people are able to in their warehouses. This could be akin to Ikeas warehouse model of a fully automated warehouse. Further advancing their analytics will help excel overall worker efficiency to provide an overall more satisfying experience for their customers.

  22. Scott

    The largest threat to UPS moving forward will be outside competition, like Amazon, and their inability to adapt to new technology and market pressures. Amazons preparations to launch their own delivery service is a threat to UPS, because Amazon has the money and resources to set up a new freight and parcel delivery company, and they’d be able to start from scratch, with technology at the centre of their operations that can put UPS behind in the industry.
    An opportunity is the money they will be saving by implementing EDGE, a program in which changes how workers load packages into trucks. For example, trucks now have Bluetooth devices that communicate with the handheld devices which employees carry with them and the devices will make a distinctive noise which either tells the employee they have put the package on the right truck or not. Another example that these technologies have altered the way UPS does business is that the headphones employees have to wear tell them blue, green or red which tells the employee which conveyor belt to place the package onto. This reduces the number of misplaced packages and increases the efficiency of the firm.

  23. Lambee

    1. There are both threats and opportunities for UPS. Two of the biggest threats to UPS going forward would be competition and AI technology. There are new competitors out there who are developing their own logistics and delivery solutions and Amazon is one of the most dangerous of them. Amazon is a company with top customer-tracking capabilities, artificial intelligence expertise and are preparing to launch an even lower-cost package delivery service. Whereas UPS is trying to upgrade older systems, Amazon is building from scratch. It is easier to incorporate artificial intelligence into a new system than trying to adapt an old system to utilize the AI technology.

    2. Two of the biggest opportunities for UPS going forward are advanced analytics and being a global delivery service. The EDGE program for UPS has 25 projects based on data underway. It not only makes the company more productive and gets misdirect packages to intended recipients sooner but is also expected to save the company $200-300 million a year. In addition to implementing this program, UPS has planted its seeds in countries all over the world. With the boom and growth in e-commerce and UPS being a global company, it can expect to have an increase in demand for service. However, even if UPS takes advantage of their global system, they may not be able to compete with a more advanced company. Therefore, UPS needs to integrate technology and build on innovative ideas in order to grow or maintain a competitive position.

  24. Dylan Tomiyama

    1. What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?
    I believe that the two largest threats to UPS going forward is Amazon and the use of artificial intelligence/technology within their business structure. As noted in the article Amazon already has a head start in developing and incorporating the use of artificial intelligence into their everyday business. Also, Amazon appears to be growing at a faster rate than UPS which could give them a competitive advantage over UPS. Amazons market cap as listed on the NASDAQ is also considerably larger than UPS, at 772.44B and 94.407B respectively. This signals to me that Amazons existing assets and future growth opportunities are greater than UPS. If UPS is unable to provide their services to consumers at an affordable and valuable price and then they may not be able to stay competitive within the industry. However, as noted in the article UPS has already established operations around the globe which would be very costly to Amazon to set up if they wanted to compete within this industry; which may allow UPS to remain into the future.

    2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?
    I believe that the two biggest opportunities for UPS moving forward is the use of artificial intelligence within their current business operations, as this technology could allow them to decrease costs and to better respond to consumers’ needs. And the seconded biggest opportunity for them is the use of data in order to streamline their operations and to respond to consumers’ needs, which comes about from them using the technology.

  25. Scott Hill

    The two biggest threats that UPS faces in the future are competition, from companies such as amazon, and customer satisfaction. The first threat is Amazon, and their new way of delivering packages like drones. These deliveries would be faster than any delivery truck the UPS can use. The second threat of customer satisfaction is less clear. To stay on top of the delivery game, UPS needs to make sure they don’t lose products, they need to make sure the packages are not damaged, and they need to get the packages to the customers as quickly as possible. Failing to do any of these things will lead to customer dissatisfaction, and will result in customers taking their business elsewhere.
    The two biggest opportunities for UPS are the increase in e-commerce, which means they will deliver more packages, and the use of artificial intelligence (AI). With AI becoming a very real future it will allow UPS to send self driving vehicles to deliver packages.

  26. Griffin Phillips

    I feel that one of my issues when it comes to ordering things online although it is becoming the norm I would rather go to the store to purchase the item if I can. This is because I don’t want to wait for the often-lengthy shipping time without paying the premium price to have the product shipped. UPS seems to have figured out a very consistent system although if I was an employee having to deal with the beeping noises when placing packages into a vehicle I would probably lose my mind and those noises would be permanently fried into my brain. I think that Amazon is a pretty big threat when it comes to shipping because it has so many warehouses everywhere that if there proposed drone delivery system ever takes off it will force other companies such as fed ex or UPS to adapt and change or possibly sell some of their current delivery technology to Amazon. The efficiency of delivery is getting better as mentioned in the article UPS is saving money although this system is efficient I wish that they could increase the timeliness of orders being delivered I think same day delivery is not too far into the future and I am very excited for it to become a reality. Even though I am an impatient person these services do a great deal more than just supplying people with items they purchase online but make the world closer by delivering any item a person could imagine without the person having to leave the comfort of their home.

  27. James Braid

    The two biggest threats to UPS is the boom in e-commerce and the struggle the company faces with dealing with increased order numbers, and the potential threat of Amazon entering the delivery business with technology and AI already at the core of their businesses. The threat of the boom in e-commerce is forcing UPS to adapt its processing methods to make them more efficient and have less parcels placed onto the wrong trucks. The threat of Amazon entering the market is that Amazon may take away market share from UPS and drive them out of business. UPS is combating this threat through introducing new technology that increases efficiency and reduces the costs to UPS.
    The two biggest opportunities to UPS is there new technology EDGE and ORION, also the logistical knowhow that UPS already has. This technology that UPS is deploying is redefining the operational business procedures that UPS undertakes. For example, trucks now have Bluetooth devices that communicate with the handheld devices which employees carry with them and the devices will make a distinctive noise which either tells the employee they have put the package on the right truck or not. Another example that these technologies have altered the way UPS does business is that the headphones employees have to wear tell them blue, green or red which tells the employee which conveyor belt to place the package onto. This reduces the number of misplaced packages and increases the efficiency of the firm. UPS already has extensive knowledge in the field of deliveries and knows the best ways to manage problems.

  28. Heather Donahue

    The largest threat is definitely Amazon. Barbara Ivanov even says “Amazon does have the money and ability to set up a new freight and parcel delivery company, and the disruptive thing is that they’d be able to start from scratch, with technology at the centre of their operations,” showing us that yes, UPS is moving towards a new and innovative way of delivering packages, but that Amazon can easily catch up and be bigger and better. Another threat is their inability to adapt to the mass amount of packages that go through their facilities each day.

    An opportunity is the money ($2-3 million a year) they will be saving by implementing EDGE, a program in which changes how workers load packages into trucks, determines when trucks are to be washed, etc. Another opportunity will be a higher level of customer satisfaction (assuming the EDGE is successful) because there will be less mistakes made, which means customers SHOULD receive their packages more quickly and efficiently.

  29. pelumi132

    The two biggest threats that UPS faces is their competition with Amazon and the danger of messing up orders and not delivering packages on time to there customers. Amazon is such a huge company that has a lot of money, and they are so ahead of everyone in AI. This will be tough for UPS to get to their level Aside from its central package delivery service, UPS receives an undisclosed portion of its revenue from storing and shipping parts for manufacturers. Ups has to become more efficient to be able to move forward, UPS is reasonably behind in the technology department and still lose parcels, forget deliveries, and make minor mistakes when all the packages are shipped. There are bound to be an error along the way. UPS has established many strengths for their business in the form of data innovation, which has enabled them to compete with Amazon. However, I believe that their EDGE program will undoubtedly make them more competitive and cost-effective. Also, Data innovations like EDGE and ORION have given UPS a fighting chance against Amazon. The EDGE program will surely make them more competitive and profitable.

  30. Nicole Klein

    The largest threat to UPS moving forward will be outside competition and their inability to adapt to the volume of packages that need to be delivered on a daily basis. Every single day UPS workers make dozens of decisions every day, often wrong ones. On top of this, keeping track of all the packages and their various destinations is immensely difficult. From placing the wrong box on the wrong conveyer belt to loading packages onto the wrong delivery truck, there is a lot of room for human error when it comes to UPS. Furthermore, competition such as Amazon is preparing to launch a low-cost package delivery service. This could be detrimental to the future of UPS, as Amazon is a company with top customer-tracking capabilities and a high level of artificial-intelligence expertise.
    In response to the uprising competition, UPS planned to utilize advanced analytics. UPS began to collect data across its facilities and have since started projects based on that data. The data collection has sparked changes in everything from how workers place packages inside the delivery trucks to how temporary hires that UPS recruits during the busy holiday season are trained. Through utilizing this program, also called EDGE (enhanced dynamic global execution), UPS estimates company savings of approximately $200 million to $300 million a year once the program is fully finished.
    Using artificial intelligence and advanced analytics does not only have company benefits, it also has benefits to consumers. Recently, UPS started equipping its delivery trucks with plastic Bluetooth receivers in the hope to reduce the likelihood of misloaded packages. This newly developed system operates by passing wireless signals between the Bluetooth beacons and the scanning devices that workers wear on their hips and hands to read the labels on UPS packages. Therefore, UPS can better ensure costumers receive their orders timely and correctly and can prepare to contest with uprising competition.

  31. Jennifer

    The biggest threat that UPS faces going forward will be from the increase of competition from bigger companies such as Amazon, who provides top customer-tracking capabilities and artificial-intelligence expertise. Amazons preparations to launch their own delivery service is a threat to UPS, because Amazon has the money and resources to set up a new freight and parcel delivery company, and they’d be able to start from scratch, with technology at the centre of their operations that can put UPS behind in the industry. Amazon also has head start in artificial intelligence that UPS is still trying to catch up.

    Although Amazon has the resources to set a parcel delivery company, their current delivery infrastructure lags far behind UPS or FedEx. The biggest opportunity that UPS has going forward is the advanced analytics of the EDGE system gives UPS a competitive advantage towards competitors, and benefits them by saving $200 to $300 million a year which is impressive. The EGDE system gives UPS the opportunity have more control over their delivery trucks and packages, and this system will help the company reduce costs and errors by ensuring the packages put into the correct delivery trucks, and delivered to the correct address. Also, the article stated that UPS have distribution internationally are very present across the globe. Being well-known by consumers and having brand recognition is also very important and provided that they continue improving service, that brand loyalty will also add to their company value.

  32. Nicholas Benner

    Moving forward, I foresee one of the biggest threats for UPS in the future is Amazon. Amazon can be viewed as a very real threat due to their accessibility to financial resources and technological advancement that have already gave them a drastic competitive advantage in the retail sector. With plans to develop and implement their own logistics system for package delivery, the very real threat of Amazon is not to be taken lightly, even from the heavy weights like UPS and FedEx in the logistics business. I believe UPS, like others in the logistics sector, also face the threat of remaining competitive. In order to stay competitive, UPS has already made great improvement such as the implementation of their EDGE and ORION systems. These systems greatly reduce human error and improve logistical quality which is required to maintain an optimum level of service for their worldwide customers.

    I believe UPS has set themselves up for several opportunities, all of which can greatly improve operational efficiency and effectiveness. As reported in the article, with the full implementation of the EDGE program alone, UPS projects savings upwards of approximately $200-300 million annually. Utilizing vast savings such as these, UPS may be able to allocate capital resources to a variety of other areas of operation such as improving customer service, marketing, hiring/workforce, extend their lease fleet, or even invest in research and development of new logistics systems to maintain their competitive advantage against new and existing entrants.

  33. Meghan Drought

    UPS has an amazing system set up to reduce the errors that humans make. It would be so easy to put the wrong parcel in a truck, and nowadays that is not acceptable. Customers expect prompt delivery of items they order online. It used to be that someone could expect a long wait, but now you can order items from Amazon that arrive the next day or in two days. If you have to compete with that then you have to make sure that there are few to no mistakes. The great thing about UPS’s system is that they made it simple for people to do, just listen for the right beep or the colour, people can easily be trained to do that.

    But, I do not think that this technology would be too hard to create when Amazon already has a lot of technology involved in their company. More than that, Amazon has a good reputation and I think that they’re more widely known than UPS. So, if Amazon can create this technology and use their reputation to find clientele, then I believe that UPS better watch their back.

    However, If Amazon does not create this technology or they do not enter this market for a while, then I think that UPS can be very successful. Especially since they already have a head start in the technology. So, I think it would be easier for them to increase the technology’s efficiency and effectiveness, as long as they are using their resources correctly.

  34. Raina Sharma

    What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?
    the two biggest threats UPS is facing would be their strong competition and their lack in technologies. amazon being their biggest competitors have advanced their technologies to make the work easier and improve customer service. UPS is still just starting to implement technologies that help them sort out their packages and improving their delivery systems. UPS implementing the EDGE system hoping to gather more information about their service centres is a late adaptation especially since their competition is so advance and prospering in their business.
    What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?
    UPS biggest opportunities would be to take full advantage of their technologies, implement more and improve their services. they should also focus on improving their organizational and sorting of packages so they can save time and money in trying to fix their errors. UPS is still not out of business and can redeem themselves only if they fully learn their mistakes and implement action plans to fix them.

  35. Hanan Ali

    1) What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?
    Even though UPS had a high position in the market with being the largest shipping company in the world. They still have huge competition from other delivery companies. UPS’s biggest threat would be Amazon and the threat of not having orders delivered on time. UPS needs to be successful in order to get packages where they need to be on time and do it at a low cost. In order to keep their customers. Amazon is incorporating artificial intelligence in their systems which can be another big threat for UPS. UPS’s development will help them get more competitive they just have to be able to keep up with their competitors.

    2) What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?
    The two biggest opportunities for UPS moving forward would be the advanced analytics of the EDGE system. This gives UPS the ability satisfy their own needs such as , keeping loyal customers around because of great productive and response time. This new technology could open up a few more jobs such as someone to make sure the system is running smoothly. EDGE had a huge competitive advantage, which will save UPS a lot of money in a year. Another opportunity would be the Bluetooth systems each parcel is always place in the right place and this will lead to fewer errors made by UPS. Which leads to happier customers.


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