UPS Report Shows “Smart Operations” Are Key To Manufacturing Excellence

Discussion in 'UPS Pressroom News' started by ROBO MOD, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. ROBO MOD

    ROBO MOD I'm a Robot Staff Member

    Traditional Lean and Six Sigma practices are insufficient to address the complexities of modern industrial manufacturing, and companies are turning to “smart operations,” which use pervasive data collection, advanced analytics, technology investments and deeper collaboration with partners to prepare their value streams for the next industrial revolution, a new white paper from UPS (NYSE: UPS) shows.

    Over the next three years, a growing number of successful manufacturers will enhance their manufacturing processes with smart operations, a broader supply chain strategy that extends beyond the factory walls, according to the paper, “The Rise of Smart Operations: Reaching New Levels of Operational Excellence.”

    Lean and Six Sigma methods remain the standard for manufacturers, but continuous improvement has a downside. Overly optimized processes can become inflexible, leaving the business unable to adjust rapidly to disruptions in the supply chain and changing customer demand. Manufacturers that use smart operations are better positioned than others to compete and thrive in today’s fluctuating markets. That’s because increased visibility of inventory location and transportation allow companies to better analyze and quickly manage changes to their supply chain both upstream and downstream of the factory.

    “Smart operations are crucial to the long-term success of manufacturing companies,” said Derrick Johnson, vice president of marketing at UPS. “The strategy enables manufacturers with limited resources to serve their increasingly demanding customers more flexibly.”

    UPS and market research firm IDC conducted the survey of more than 100 manufacturing operations executives and hosted focus group discussions to assess how far along companies are in implementing smart operations. The report showed that 53% of companies were at a relatively low level of overall maturity. Still, 47% of the survey respondents said their company’s progress toward smart operations exceeded that of their peers.

    There are five areas essential to smart operations:

    • Connected products: Increasingly, industrial manufacturers sell products that are connected in the cloud. This connectivity allows companies to offer better maintenance service, which sometimes even generates new revenue streams.
    • Connected assets: Manufacturers with connected assets are better able to monitor their operations to anticipate and even correct problems before they occur.
    • Supply chain decision making: The data and analytic tools used in smart operations help manufacturers resolve issues in the supply chain faster.
    • Buy-side value chain: Smart operations allow manufacturers to automate purchasing with their vendors and manage the inbound transportation of those supplies.
    • Sell-side value chain: Smart operations allow manufacturers to change transportation modes and speeds as well as destinations based on shifting customer demand.
    At the heart of this business strategy is digital transformation enabled by investments in technology for data collection, advanced analytics and connectivity for products, assets and partners throughout the value chain. One top-tier automotive supplier that participated in the study explained: “We are no longer an automotive company, but a technology company in the automotive business.”

    The UPS report also showed that manufacturers increasingly rely on external service providers, freeing themselves to focus on their own key competencies. Companies that have made less progress toward smart operations can take advantage of the technology and process investments their partners have already made.

    UPS invests more than $1 billion annually in technology that includes innovative solutions to help manufacturers optimize their total value chain and implement strategies to quickly adapt to problems. The company’s supplier management services, for example, facilitate flawless transport and import of goods. UPS also offers visibility tools to help customers keep track of freight shipments around the world.
     
  2. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Another example of the technology workers at UPS being much more important than the package handlers ... including drivers.
     
  3. upschuck

    upschuck Avatar bet gone wrong

    Without the PH's, no boxes would get delivered, without tech people, a lot of boxes would get delivered, just not as efficiently. I'd say the PHs are more important, wouldn't you?
     
  4. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    No, because if it was not for the Technology workers, UPS would have gone under 10 years ago.
    No one would be working at UPS except where UPS had non-union workers.
     
  5. upschuck

    upschuck Avatar bet gone wrong

    And without the PHs, there would never have been a UPS to go under.
     
  6. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Agree with that but things change.
    When I was a driver, we didn't scan anything ... no Technology except Billing Systems.
    We had some kickass filing cabinets though.
     
  7. upschuck

    upschuck Avatar bet gone wrong

    I am not saying that tech people are worthless, just not as important as the ground workers. The workers on the ground are what make this company profitable, the tech people make it more profitable. Never seen a DIAD or the software deliver a package.
     
  8. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    OK
     
  9. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    And my real point is that all employees at UPS are important.
    UPS is actually a pretty lean company and therefore, very profitable.
    There aren't many (I know of none) positions at UPS that don't improve effectiveness, efficiency and service.
     
  10. upschuck

    upschuck Avatar bet gone wrong

    I can mostly agree with that.

    I do think there are too many levels of management, but I don't know what they do though, either.
     
  11. upschuck

    upschuck Avatar bet gone wrong

    You mean after you retired, right?
     
  12. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Just like many of them that don't know what y'all do ... at least in Corporate.
     
  13. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    I can only go with what I know, and that is from before I retired.
     
  14. upschuck

    upschuck Avatar bet gone wrong

    Problem is though, we don't make decisions that negatively effect corporate's jobs.
     
  15. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Has Orion had that much of an impact on your day?
     
  16. upschuck

    upschuck Avatar bet gone wrong

    It was a bad joke, I guess.
     
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  17. upschuck

    upschuck Avatar bet gone wrong

    Who said anything about ORION? I am just saying that there have been several times in my UPS career, that I thought that what they were asking us to do was the dumbest thing.
     
  18. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Such as?
     
  19. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Hiring drivers off the street.
    Some of the worst people at following the rules!
    And dickheads too! :wink2:
     
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  20. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I'll give you that one.

    Our demo during the PCM yesterday had all of the drivers in a line entering a parked PC through the rear door and shouting out "UPS" as we exited through the passenger door. I just shook my head and told my on car that it was a "second grade" demo and that I wasn't going to participate.