Back to a safety issue, this one for the number crunchers at IE

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by dannyboy, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Bennisgreat made some posts with his tongue in cheek, but it did bring up some unintended thoughts on my part.

    UPS number crunchers have all the numbers all the time for everything. So answer me this.

    You have a 36 inch wide belt. What is the maximum package flow down that belt, before it either stops working or becomes unsafe?

    And why is it that you are trying to force more down belts that were not designed for that flow, and as a consequence, you end up with real safety issues, not to mention a bunch of damages? Damages that are a direct result of cramming too many packages on belts.

    And pray tell, how is someone going to split said belt with packages two high, side to side, and pull two package cars as well? After all, with the packages two high, there is no place to put what you are pulling off the top, and no way to split what is underneath. A problem that causes the belt not to be split until it has progressed half way to the end, causing a great number of missed packages to end up at the end, causing several people to have to two wheel them back to the begining of said belt and be tossed on the the second layer currently on the belt, thereby making another layer to boot, which now keeps you from even being able to sort the second layer, and forget even seeing the first layer. Which then causes even more missed to gather at the end of the belt.

    And it goes on and on, keeping two people busy all sort long shuttleing the packages back to the head of the belt. Two people that IE says we cant use on the belt because of them not being needed.

    So tell me what the poor lazy hourly are to do?

  2. 1/2waythere

    1/2waythere New Member

    I agree....they are shoving the pkgs down the preloaders throats.
    Like you said, pkgs being damaged, missloads.
    I know there's an average damage cost per center, but does anyone on this board know what UPS uses as an average cost to make service on a missload or lib?
  3. mathematics

    mathematics New Member

    package flow density (how many packages per square yard flow every minute) would determine belt speed. you can't add more packages and keep belt speed the same. the real solution is to add to the building because it's clear that it's over design capacity at that point. you can't have more than 2 splitters and you can only load so fast. the end result of all of that is chaos because you can ultimately only load a car so fast by methods. IE people know this, but solutions come from Region IE who probably wont be there to see it before they make a decision.
  4. upsdude

    upsdude Well-Known Member

    A fellow I worked for several years ago is currently in IE. I trust this guy with everything in me, he demonstrated his trustworthiness many times in the past. According to him, UPS has spent billions on technology the last few years and little or nothing on facilities. We’re now cramming Pottery Barn and other boxes the size of Delaware into our buildings and sort equipment. Or, to quote the IE guy exactly, “We’re shoving 25 lbs into a 5 lb bag then scratching our heads as to why the bag ripped”.

    I only see my tiny little corner of the UPS world and it’s a mess. Damages through the roof, package cars crammed in the building like sardines. Oh, back to damages, I have stuff getting destroyed after it gets on the car. You’d think we could at least get it from the car to the destination address!

    IE is now moving cars around to save fuel or downsizing the assigned cars. Example: They swapped 1000’s between drivers because one got better mileage than the other. One car goes up the interstate foot on the floor to keep up with the 65 MPH speed limit for approx 30 miles each way. The other drives a top speed of 35 MPH all day, roughly 40 miles. Both cars are exactly the same except one has an additional 150K miles on it. Guess what? Now the “better mileage” car gets the same mileage as the one it replaced. Well I’ll be! Gee IE folks, maybe it’s the friggin road and route that dictates fuel usage. I wonder how much time was spent doing the study that led this decision? I’m thinking we could just lay that IE guy/gal off and save some dough.

    Or driver “A” goes from a 1000 to an 800. Now he’s blown out, packages getting destroyed on the car, and additional sort (Read OVERTIME) time. What did we save?
  5. PEorDIE

    PEorDIE Guest

    Dont always be so quick to blame IE on the fact that your unload supervisor is only concerned with getting volume out of the unload. Most of the IE measurements I have seen stick to the PE belt capacity standards 2000 pks / hr for a 4' belt if I am not mistaken. It has been awhile. I see it every day in the hub where the IE group is basicaly non-existent. Push 60k out of the unload and let the outbound spend 45 min wrapping up. I think too many times the operation supervisors use IE as the scapegoat. Most buildings dont have IE working the sorts at least not the preloads. IE is in an office some where asking questions not pushing the volume out of the unload.

    Just my two cents
  6. But Benefits Are Great!

    But Benefits Are Great! Just Words On A Screen

    Excellent post.

    Earlier in life, I held the firm belief that you should have just enough manpower, equipment, and facilities to do the job right, not a bit more.

    The theory behind this is that underutilized staff, equipment & facilities are the largest waste of company money.

    I never had a nice big glass building to work out of - always thought it a waste of money - I didn't buy a new Porsche every year, as my 10 year old Volvo worked just fine - those types of examples.

    However, over the years, experience showed that this tact was flawed.

    Take UPS as an example - facilities are outdated to handle the current (and aticipated) increased load. Trucks are outdated, old. ALWAYS short staffed, a huge cost in overtime.

    Increase in hires by 3% would DECREASE payroll costs.

    Diesel fuel is a double digit expense for UPS. There are already electric full-sized box trucks available, much more expensive initially, but government subsidized!

    Ah, don't get me started, I could go on & on.
  7. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    Your friend is not quite right. The implementation of PAS / ED has required many building modifications throughout the country that has cost us quite a bit. Other then that point he is correct.
  8. IWorkAsDirected

    IWorkAsDirected Outa browns on 04/30/09

    But...........tell me if I am wrong, does not IE determine the number for everything including how many pieces per hour or whatever the preload is supposed to hit, I know they dictate SPHOR
  9. outamyway

    outamyway New Member


    You just described every day on every belt at our center. Until it's just smalls coming down. But by that time half of the preload is sent home.

    God I would have loved to take some pics the last couple days. What a frekin mess.
  10. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Yup, Tie you are right. They have spent a fortune on new tech offices in the buildings, extra computers, all sorts of expensive fancy gear, but not much in the way of getting the job done any faster or better for the people actually doing the job.

    And there in lies a real rub.... with the gross disconnect from reality that the hourly and front line sups face, and the walmart happy face, blank mindless dribble on how we are going to "make this work" mentality.

    Yeah, I know how it is supposed to work. I also know that in many cases, the very sups that were entrusted to help it work, failed badly in their arrogance.

    But it does nothing to rectify the problem. Throwing more money and a ton of time into wowing the customer with our technology, and yet dropping the ball with actual service improvements and making sure the employees safety is paramount.

    So while I know you are also going to find some fault with the post, you also admit there is a serious issue, something that Atlanta knows about, but is not interested in fixing. They are too busy patting themselves on the back on the unprecedented success of EDD.

  11. barnyard

    barnyard KTM rider Staff Member

    I've wondered that also.

    At my center, we have 3 spots for trailers to unload. 2 at one end of the building and 1 at the other end. The 2 trailer end is where all the problems occur.

    A bunch of years ago, someone decided that the only way to make the numbers was to unload both at the same time. When the flow was "right" boxes from the side trailer knocks boxes from the straight trailer off the belt. The 'solution' was to weld metal plates to keep everything on the belt. Damages have skyrocketed, but it does not matter, cause the numbers are being met.

    Plus spitting that mess is darn near impossible (no box line, straight belt down the middle of the building.) The boxes hit the spitters 2-3 high and 3-4 across. A lot of time, as soon as the mess passes the 'guards' boxes tumble off the belt.

    It is an excercise in stress and frustration. I do not think I have the patience to work the preload in my building anymore.

  12. Sending out approx 30k to 2 boxlines that are already precharged in just over two hours is ludicrous. I agree that IE isnt competely at fault, though their overall performance expectations plan is somewhat the cause. if you bury the slides and then move extra people to the slides to recover, you then bury the outbounds and have a mess. Thats why it takes time to clean up. Our manager comes in and says our unload has been down for an hour at 8:01 (445 start time and a 10 min break in there too) you guys should be wrapped by now. However he must have missed the fact that the slide was beyond screwed for most of that because we couldn't find enough people to staff it (and yes this was communicated). It took at least a half hour to get it under control and then of course since we added extra help to the slides (some of which came from the loaders below), the outbound lines the slide feeds (boxline) were buried. However that help previously alotted to the slides was cut out (aside from the loaders who were up there helping) and we're left to fend for ourselves. Doing 900-1100+ piece pulls in under 3 hrs? are the people in charge (above the shift manager level) seriously that dense?

    When I first was hired as a loader 175pph was decent for a preloader. Now its 225...excuse me? Did this job radically change in 3 years? (answer: NO) PAS did not change the job, it just made it easier to learn. It definitely doesn't make you load an extra 50 packages an hour. You can't just pull a number out of your head and say we need this number to meet the goal so now thats the standard and then complain about it not working. Not to mention most union people at our building know there is no loading standard in the contract and will tell us so.

    The IE guy in our building has admitted many things that impact our day are not factored into time allowances for the preload. Also that some of the plans/policies in place are counterproductive in our building, however that doesn't mean we stop enforcing them. My FT supe has gone to bat for us and is seemingly butting heads with our manager daily now over the way the operation is being run. It just seems like mass chaos now. We've got supes quitting because they've had enough and hourlies as well (though the latter is nothing new). Luckily my loaders are seemingly thick skinned and are pushing through the tough times currently but I just wonder "how long?" sometimes.

    Our staffing is in the hamper, our people that do show up are beaten up and tired for compensating (supes and hourly). There is no wiggle room in the plan anymore. It only works if everyone loads at that PPH at all times. No slowing down. These are human beings working here, not machines. That also means not everyone has the same ability. Some people maybe can load at 250 easily, others struggle to make 200pph. You can't just tell the guy that is doing the best he can but struggling to make 200 he HAS to load at 225 if he/she can't physically do it. I believe (recalling my time as a loader) there is an article in the contract that protects workers from that very thing. I dunno, I know times are tough, know its cutback time at UPS, but pissing off your entire workforce (management and hourly alike) is not going to get you the results you're looking for.
  13. outamyway

    outamyway New Member

    They are pissing off(and on) our customers because of this.

    If someone really needs something, they know they can get it through UPS.

    In tough times, if someone needs something and they have ANY DOUBT if they will get it in time or intact, they will find the cheapest way to get it. Unfortunately, that is not us.
  14. upsdude

    upsdude Well-Known Member

    Danny gave my answer.