Vice President of Information Technology, UPS
SuperNova Award Category:
- Matrix Commerce
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS has 435,000 employees globally.
With the explosive growth of global e-commerce, UPS sought to meet the needs of both merchants and consumers by creating solutions to “deliver packages where you are, not where you aren’t.”
For many consumers who live in urban areas and/or aren’t often home during the day, getting a package can be a challenge. In the absence of someone to claim the package at home, carriers may be unable to find a secure place to leave it, or it may require a signature. To avoid these scenarios, consumers may limit or completely eliminate online shopping, reducing their options and costing merchants a potentially valuable customer base.
With the goals of greater convenience for consumers, driving business for merchants and cutting operational costs for UPS, UPS integrated two related services: UPS My Choice® with the UPS Access Point™ network - a system of conveniently located independent retail locations offering parcel pick-up and drop-off services at more than 24,000 locations worldwide.
The UPS Access Point™ network, when combined with UPS My Choice® (UPS’s consumer-facing delivery management and notification service), offers consumers unprecedented control over the delivery experience. When consumers are not home to receive a package, UPS can re-route that package to a convenient Access Point™ location, such as a pharmacy, grocery store or dry cleaner for the consumer to pick up on their own schedule. These businesses typically have convenient hours, including evenings and weekends, and keep packages secure.
The UPS Access Point™ network also improves the returns experience for online shoppers. If consumers wish to return a purchase, they can simply drop the labeled UPS package at any UPS Access Point™ location.
Local small business owners who join the network experience increased foot traffic and exposure in their communities. UPS Access Point™ locations are typically within 10 minutes of the consumers they serve.
UPS is the first carrier in the U.S. to offer the services provided by the UPS Access Point™ network and UPS My Choice®. Even in European markets, no other carrier can match UPS’s global connectivity. By taking advantage of these solutions, merchants in 49 origin countries can reach consumers via the entire UPS Access Point™ network through one, unified platform.
In addition, UPS is the only carrier to offer consumers the ability to select a preferred UPS Access Point™ location as the delivery point for all of their parcels. Earlier this year, 33% of U.S. online shoppers participating in the 2015 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ study, said they want their packages sent to locations other than their home, compared with 26% in 2014, showing a rising preference for alternate delivery locations.
Based on the growing preference for alternate delivery options, UPS has expanded its UPS My Choice® service to allow members to take control of packages destined for their home address and have them re-routed directly to a UPS Access Point™ location before they go out for delivery.
Today, there are more than 24,000 UPS Access Point™ locations globally. Overall, the UPS Access Point™ network is having a positive impact on consumers, online merchants, UPS Access Point™ location owners and UPS.
Since launch, the UPS Access Point™ network has received very positive feedback from both consumers and UPS Access Point™ owners. In a 2014 survey of consumers, 98% of respondents said their experience with the UPS Access Point™ network was positive and 75% said that the UPS Access Point™ network offered an improvement over their existing delivery experience. Additionally, 60% said that they planned to shop more online after their UPS Access Point™ network experience.
Consumers also indicated that the UPS Access Point™ network benefits local small businesses; 54% said picking up a package at a UPS Access Point™ location led them to go to a store they wouldn’t typically visit. Additionally, 32% purchased an item from the location the last time they picked up a package.
The UPS Access Point™ network and UPS My Choice® service integration is made possible by proprietary routing software, and includes a significant integration of hundreds of applications on a global scale.
Creating enterprise-wide change involves overcoming numerous challenges, including managing a project across several business units at UPS, as well as effectively communicating dramatically enhanced delivery options to millions of consumers in 12 countries on two continents, among others.
In order to ensure thousands of complex modifications were successfully made to more than 200 applications in various organizations, UPS formed a cross-functional project management team. Involving several representatives from different business units, the cross-functional team was able to leverage insights from experts in various industry verticals to produce a comprehensive project schedule in the initial phases of the rollout. As the project progressed and additional issues arose, the team was instrumental in issues management, status reporting and creating a comprehensive end-to-end plan, including over 10,000 test cases.
The biggest lesson: it takes a cross-functional team.
The UPS Access Point™ network integration with UPS My Choice® demonstrated a valuable lesson on the importance of teamwork before, during and after the introduction and integration of a first-of-its-kind service on an international scale. The project has been recognized with Computerworld Digital Edge and Information Week Elite 100 awards.