My how things have changed


Well-Known Member
While reading some stuff on I found this text of a speech by Oz Nelson. The speech was delivered at the 1995 Management Conference. Pay special attention to the words in paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

PAS/EDD have really screwed us up. Our company isn't about service anymore, it's all about numbers, nothing else matters.

Here it is...................

Promises made, promises kept -- 1995 Management Conference
On a flight between Milan and Madrid last month, I began reflecting on some of the challenges that our European partners have encountered while establishing our still young domestic and international business. We had seen a survey of customer perceptions of our service as compared to other more established companies. And while we were not the leader, we had already caught and passed some competitors who have labored in those vineyards far longer than we.

It reminded me of how hard it was to sell our service when we were expanding into new areas in the United States. We visited shippers who had never heard of us, and promised them service that was better than they had ever experienced by the Post Office or by other private carriers. It was not much different than what our European and other international partners are experiencing now.

Today, the big difference to UPS between the U.S. market and our less mature international markets is largely one of experience, knowledge, and trust. The general public in the United States has come to know what UPS can do. They have learned about us through our many million "promises made and promises kept" over the years. And so it will be in other parts of the world as our reputation grows.

In Europe, Asia, and elsewhere, our promised service levels must still be proven. Our "publics" in those countries have not yet experienced those millions of "promises made, promises kept." But they will. The potential for us is so great, we must commit to building that trust on a worldwide scale.

Perfect service is a pretty strong promise to make. In fact, it is a promise that I am unwilling to make, but very willing to aspire to. And so, I am sure, are all of you. So how do we live up to such a lofty goal? In his 1988 "Forces of Quality" conference talk, Jack Rogers urged us to "accept personal responsibility to meet our customers’ standards." He said we should "measure service through the customers’ eyes."

Is there any operation under your responsibility that you would not want our customers to see? If there is, then some changes need to be made. Not only because you wouldn’t want your customers to see it, but because your people know it exists — and they think that you condone it. By ignoring it, you are condoning it.

The UPS promise must be a promise that applies to every element of our service. Not just to parts that our customers can see. It applies to package handling in hubs and preloads, as well as when the packages are being picked up at the customers’ premises. And we, the leadership of UPS, are charged with the responsibility to see that quality resides every place that our customers’ packages go. To do less would be unfair to Jim Casey and our other predecessors, unfair to our customers, and unfair to each one of us.

One of our promises reviewed at this conference concerning multiple-piece deliveries found our performance lacking. One of our very large customers said they were surprised that we were not more reliable in delivering multiple-piece shipments all together at the same time. Our unacceptable performance is costing us more than just revenue and profits. It is costing us our reputation. And, I want it back — and so too, do all of you.

Our customers have spoken clearly. They want a better service than we have given. If we want to enjoy their continued support, we must be willing to make an extreme effort towards solving this difficult problem.

At this meeting, several of you have said, "Empower me." And, so I shall. Each district manager is hereby challenged to work with your team of service providers to substantially improve the reliability of our service on multiple-package shipments. By October 1, I would like to receive a note from each district manager in the room providing me two bits of information. The first is what your current experience is on the percentage of multiple-piece shipments delivered at the same time. And, the second is what your percent has improved to by the middle of September. Oh, and add something else: Include the two best practices that were installed in your district to reach the new, improved result.

I don’t want to leave our Corporate group off the hook. By the same date, I would like our Operations Planning Group to lay out a process and plan for fixing this problem over the long term.

And, to our region managers, I assign an even harder task: stay out of the way on this one. Let the district managers fix it. Your role will be to help keep score on how well your districts are doing. Oh, yes, my job. It will be to read the letters and send out congratulatory notes. Delivering multiple-package shipments all at the same time is a promise that we will keep.

There is no question that in the past:

* We have tolerated too much poor performance.
* We have been guilty of creating new jobs too easily.
* We have solved first-line problems by adding management, rather than empowering the people we have, to do the job right the first time.
* We have not successfully applied continuous improvement to all elements of our service offerings — and have placed our very reputation at risk.

And while we call for change, many things will still remain the same. We still care for our people — all of our people. We know that we will soon move ahead a leaner organization. Long-term career employment will still apply to most of our employers who are good performers. It will not, and should not, apply to those who are not.

But, as we go through this Quality/Re-engineering process, we should remind ourselves that the vast majority of our people will remain with us, and we owe to them the best future we can create. I, and the entire Management Committee, know that with your help and strong leadership, we will create a brighter tomorrow than ever could have been imagined, at any time in our past. That is a promise made that we all must keep.


Well-Known Member
Yup, things have changed. In '95 we were still private. Now it seems all we try to do is make ourselves more attractive to the stock market. I don't know why we can't take a page out of the Costco book... numbers are pointless if your employees and customers are not happy.


Well-Known Member
Yep, things have changed. We used to get all business delivered each day. Thanks to the PAS/EDD system, we missed 300 business one day last week.

In the late '90s we were all asked to write letters to our Senators opposing all usps activity. Now, we are in bed with them. My friend works for the usps, and we both laugh about it.


From the promised LAND
why we can't take a page out of the Costco book

Because we would rather be a sams or walmart than a costco.

And at both of the first, service and caring about the customer has pretty much stopped.

Funny, we stopped by at the new walmart in naples, a really nice large super center. We had to wait until 8AM for the store manager to get there before we ever found someone that could speak english. Out of well over 100 employees that were there already.

When walmart was the small corner store, there was service. But when they graduated to the super centers, it all went out the window to bend the knee to numbers.

Costco does have a really nice business model. Both for the owners and the employees.