Management Rant - Measuring Stupidity

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by Hoaxster, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Obscured by Mirrors Staff Member

    Everything at UPS must be measured. Even if nothing is going to be done, even if we don't plan to do anything, we must be able to quantify it.
    It is one of the most exasperating aspects of being in Management at UPS.
    We measure stuff that is unrelated to doing an effective and efficient job because it can be measured because the things that are really important can't be quantified.

    We measure all kind of stuff that you would never do if you ran your own business. And in this time of "doing more with less" all the wasted time coming up with numbers decreases our ability to do a quality job.

    Okay, enough of management ranting.
  2. Let me put that into the proper context.
    As it can be measured, it must be measured.
    As it must be measured, it is taken as a metric of performance and achievement.
    So how is it measured, when an add/cut is provided at e.g. 0430 h and 0715 h?
    What does it result in?
    Once the add/cuts are made, drivers (I amend this to: Service Providers) are readjusting their loads due (after preload) to, e.g., business closed, other additional add/cuts provided after 0730 h (internal cut-off time).
    Isn't it time that the entire chain makes an effort to work smarter (and not harder)?
    How much information can be "digested" to make the operation more efficient? Do we really need IE to work smarter? IMHO, not loading boxes (which are later off-loaded by drivers due to businesses being closed) is a first step in this direction.
    Another step is: Why do we have use so much personnel in repacking after unloading trailers? If we would not have to repack so much, then late arrivals on the sorting belts could be reduced and all the boxes have a chance of getting into the cars before they leave. Right?
    Why do we have to repack so much? I do see quite an opportunity in
    a) providing a good service
    b) reducing costs.
    Am I wrong?
    How can we reduce misloads (of which quite a high percentage is made in the last 30-45 minutes of the sort due to high-intensity efforts at reducing (sorry: optimising and reducing) personnel so that under-allowed performance is achieved (looks great on paper)?
  3. Signature Only

    Signature Only Blue in Brown

    I believe that any leader or manager must be able to see what is happening at the "front" or in our case "the streets" with their own eyes. Only then can they see what does and doesn't work as well as knowing which manager is effective and who shouldn't be working there.
  4. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    To that end, an effective leader or manager must listen to those on the "the streets" for their input as to what will work or what will not work, with a filtering process in place for those who are simply looking to reduce their workload with little regard for the overall operation.
  5. What I am encountering is that even an effective leader (hard-driving person and respected) is very often discouraging any meaningful discussion with the words "got to go" or "have no time" or "I do not want to go into this". This -regrettably - discourages any meaningful conversation and incentive to express an honest opinion. So we retreat (inner emigration) and look at the job as it is - it is just a job. we keep our mouths shut, and try to do our job as good as we can. But there is no soul in it. Not exactly enticing.
    We have our marching orders, but if we see opportunities to do it smarter, then we should be given the leeway to do it and thus provide an improvement to service.
    More than 40 years ago, someone in sales (in a different country) told me: "We will always meet at least twice, the first and the last time, but how many times in between, nobody knows". and I have seen this during my professional career.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  6. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    The problem is not the measurement.

    The problem is when, (to quote Pretzel man) the number itself becomes more important than the business element it ws intented to measure.

    This mentality creates the all-too-common situations where we will spend $50 to save a dime...because that dime is showing up on our report while the $50 is showing up on someone elses report.

    If you want to get promoted at UPS you must either make yourself look better on paper, or make an internal rival look worse. The path to promotion is therefore often totally seperate from the path to running a smooth and profitable operation.

    The solution? Compensation for management people should be based upon years served rather than level attained. Otherwise, you run into the "Dilbert" principle, whereby all persons in an organization rise to their level of incompetence rather than remaining at their level of excellence.

    A competent and capable center manager should be allowed to do what he/she does best...manage a center...rather than have to exceed his/her capabilities in a futile attempt to climb the ladder and make more money.

    Fearful people make stupid decisions. People whose jobs are threatened for failing to look good on paper or produce the desired measurements will often make utterly ridiculous decisions in the name of self-preservation. Running the business takes a back seat to covering one's ass, and the entire operation becomes dysfunctional as a result.

    There needs to be a much higher level of job security for operations-level management. Quit holding an axe over their heads for failure to generate impossible statistics, and instead trust and empower them to make the right decisions instead of the ones that make them look good "on paper".
  7. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Bravo Sober! Right now in my building they have began construction on the diesel pumps. Not a big deal right? Wrong!

    This all started after laying off a bunch of 22.3 feeder washers who fuel these tractors during the day when package cars are on the street.

    The construction started after closing the North Brook feeder department and moving 20 plus tractors and 40 or so trailers.

    We now have 2 diesel pumps, going into peak and many of us wait 20 to 40 mins a night at time and a half to fuel our trucks.

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to bring back the lad off 22.3s? They are currently receiving their pensions and full time hourly rate, saving the company no money at all.

    Sometimes I wonder how we really make money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. dilligaf

    dilligaf IN VINO VERITAS

    I see there are advantages to off-site fueling. Works for us. :wink2:
  9. Cezanne

    Cezanne New Member

    From my humble opinion the whole managerial system is based on fear or negative re-enforcement. Just compare the number of warning letters issued to the number of letters thanking the employee for doing a good job. You guys got to be sick of the numbers' game, It is uncreativity stupidity. Really how do you get promoted in the management ranks, I personally do not see any difference in any intelligence levels between the average corporate level manager and the front line supervisor. Seriously, the rocket scientist types who worked for us in college have graduated and gone on to doing work in their fields. I have been told it is a matter of who you know and never, I mean never act like you are smarter than your superiors. Just continue to laugh at the same jokes and play the game and son you will go far, into what I do not know.

    Seriously why did you go into management, was it a personality flaw or did you really think that you would improve things for the better. Be truthful now was it because you could not see yourselves doing the physical end of the union work for over 30 years and retire without being so broken up that you wouldn't be able to enjoy the last 30 years of your life. Maybe a quick rich scheme.

    Time are a changing....:peaceful:
  10. Before I joined UPS, I was in positions of responsibility. After joining UPS, I was able to make the first jump into "management". Once there, I realised that attitude, industriousness, knowledge and compliance is not what is expected. The simple measure is: achieving the numbers.
    There are areas in any professional sector that cannot be measured by numbers such as: achieving a sense and committment to cooperation, coordination and communication, resulting in far better results than driving others by sheer numbers.
    In one of my previous positions (eons ago and in a different country) I once asked a financial controller: How can we measure customer satisfaction and flexibility (as we had to change manufacturing programs quite a little bit)? I never got a satisfactory answer. In the end, manufacturing coordination, financial control and marketing at least came to understand each others requirements and worked to the best of their abilities.
    Now, at UPS, I have to ask myself: Can I achieve the goals that I have set myself (knowing that one of the key obstacles is managements attitude and limitations (numbers): Get the box out of the center whatever it may cost. Is compliance with federal and internal regulations an obstacle? No, because no one is caught (until it happens). Self-disclosure is a word that is not mentioned.
    I am still keeping the next higher level informed about non-compliance.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  11. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    Like less YTD earnings for you. LOL

    I will take the extra hour of overtime per week sitting in line to get gas. At this pace we are looking at an extra $2,500 a year for me because I only have to fill 2 times a week, and upwards of $5,000 a year for guys that need to fill daily. Over 350 package drivers, plus another 108 feeder drivers, than throw 30 or so part time air drivers. That's a lot of wasted money spent by UPS. IMHO!
  12. I'm a manager...........

    Uh... what did ya' say???
  13. 705red

    705red Browncafe Steward

    ytd? YEAR TO DATE EARNINGS, is that slow enough for you? lol
  14. Re-Raise

    Re-Raise Well-Known Member

    The latest number game at our building... we are supposed to count how many times we back up each day.

    It is like they think we have nothing to think about out there delivering each day. I suppose some management person sitting in a meeting realized that in the course of delivering packages we sometimes backed into things.

    The light bulb went off and they decided if we counted the times we back up we will stop backing into things.

    Guess what .... the number of times you back has nothing to do with it. Some areas require more backing than others.

    Knowing your area and assessing the situation before you back is what prevents accidents.

    I told them 19 1/2 the other day because I thought about backing and changed my mind.
  15. Herein lies the problem

    "Stuff" & "Things": We can never have too much "Stuff" & that "Stuff" results in a bunch of "Things".

    I "Stuff" stuff into things and end up with "stuffed things". They hang on my walls ;-0
  16. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    George Carlin Talks About "Stuff"
  17. Dragon

    Dragon Package Center Manager


    Who do you give the backing number too? On-Road, OMS, Manager. Then what the heck do they do with it? Post it, discipline. Somebody is trying to justify their position or just ran out of constructive idea's. Please get that person on BC so I can chew on him!!!
  18. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    It sounds as they are simply trying to raise awareness.

    We had a PCM one day about backing and I decided I would keep track of how many times I backed and what type of back. I started by writing down how many times I thought that I would back that day and then compared that to the actual numbers of backs and I was off by almost 2/3. I had no idea that I backed that many times and have been more aware of reducing unnecessary backing since then.
  19. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    If you had been following proper methods you wouldnt have been backing "unecessarily" in the first place and the raw number of backs would be nothing more than an irrelevant statistic.
  20. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Point taken. My awareness was raised.