Operations Excellence, what is this all about?

Discussion in 'UPS Partners' started by 8up, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. 8up

    8up Member

    We have this group in our district, ops excellence, they come in every time something needs some help and tell the managers and sups how it is to be fixed. They drop off all kinds of nice spread sheets to track numerous elements so the the sups can generate yet more forms that will document exactly how they will be able to analyze the useless data and combine that into more useless spreadsheets of fluff describing their new plan of action that will lead to the desired results that they will commit to implementing in the operation so that the upperemgmt up the hill will be delighted to analyze knowing that the operators down the street have produced these gorgeous looking reports and spreadsheets with graphs and columns and rows full of color coded data and names sorted in alphabetical order that with determined dedication will forecast the planned results that are being demanded from their operaton. The Ops Exc folks came in telling the mgmt team that completing all these forms would help them determine where the problem lie and how to structure the process in a way that would correct it and bring them up in the standings. I spoke with a friend in another facility how this group was looking so much better in the Missed Origin and Left in building numbers. She told me her div. mgr instructed her to use the code tendered to UPS late, so it is no longer the sort causing the missed packages but the shipper not getting them to the sort early enough. I mentioned it to my supervisor, he said that was not the correct practice and unethical. So rather than being praised for the improvements, he is getting all the extra documentation to perform on how he is going to improve the problem. Evidently the Ops Excs folks aren;t out there to see how it gets done, they just want the numbers to improve so every one up the hill can set up and smile on how much improvement they are making. Is this going on everywhere? If it works it's good we just don't need to know how you're doing it, we will be too busy working with those who don;t.
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Member

    Wow, you said the proverbial mouthful!
  3. grgrcr88

    grgrcr88 No It's not green grocer!

  4. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    Based on what you posted, I am getting out of this that OE doesn't care if time cards are manipulated as long as results are acheived. Right?
    At some point, the people who are mis-coding the timecards will get caught. You already know about it... so it is a matter of time.

    Best practices for every element were developed back in the 90's. The basics don't change over time. but someone or a team may have to go into an operation to see what is not being implemented to get the desired results. And as with life, this could be a complex process that require many steps to get desired results.

    Bottom Line - improved service to the customer should be ultimate goal and result. A manipulation of code(s) will not improve those results.
  5. pretzel_man

    pretzel_man Well-Known Member

    You mentioned two distinct things here.

    First, if a division manager directed people to manipulate numbers to look good on a report, that is wrong. That person should be caught and terminated.

    What you mention for Ops Excellence is nothing new. It used to be called team MBC. Then it was called QIP. Its different names for a good process. Find out where you stand. Determine root cause. Come up with an action plan to improve. Report on progress.

    Its not a fun process. I've been through it many times.
  6. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    Have we discussed where I work, lately? Considering, it still occurs. Just sayin':dissapointed:
  7. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    I would not accuse anyone of time card manipulation unless I personally saw the changes based on first hand knowledge or I personally heard a division manager say to do it. I would just about bet the bank that you would be hard pressed to find any division manager tell a subordinate to manipulate timecards. They are insulated. Why would they do that? People may be saying that they were directed to do these things to justify doing them. Unless hard evidence says otherwise, the person actually making the changes should be the person who is thought to be guilty and released based on evidence.
  8. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Once again we are reminded of the Golden Rule of UPS Management; its not what you accomplish that gets you promoted, its how good you look on paper pretending to accomplish it.
  9. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    Isn't supervisors working everyday a manipulation of numbers? There are cameras and people are watching those cameras. We just has a termination hearing where those tapes from those cameras were used as evidence. On those tapes, were images of supervisors working. I just read the termination letter today that the DM signed. Did he view the tapes in question? A reasonable person could surmise from all the fact that he did. If he did, he saw supervisors working. Did he tell the sups to stop working? Must not be as they still are. From those facts alone, I can can surmise the DM is, not only aware of the manipulation, but a party to it.
  10. pretzel_man

    pretzel_man Well-Known Member


    I understand your logic in proposing that supervisors working is manipulating numbers. The thought process flows and makes sense.

    But.... I veiw numbers manipulation into different categories.... Keep in mind that what I write is just my opinion.

    First and most clear is willful and wanton lying. Editing a lunch period. Saying a missed package actually had a delivery attempt. Hiding missed packages. Not recording packages left in the building. I'm sure you can list more than I.

    The second category is similar but much more fuzzy. Calling an operational problem an "emergency" Saying to code or not code hours to the preload, vs. AM time? Appropriately coding hours to different operations vs. cleanup vs. training, etc.

    I view this second category as different than the first. Often for these there is not a single rule on how to report. Often its just moving cost from one pocket to another. Yes, sometimes (maybe often) it helps a report look better but for this category there are checks and balances in place. These items (different than the first) don't really hide problems, they just move the problem to another place...

    The third category is where supervisor working fits. Its not done to manipulate numbers, but as you pointed out numbers are impacted. When a supervisor works, PPH will be impacted, but the cost is still there. Cost reports are still accurate for the operation....

    I would think the bigger issue is the contract issue rather than manipulating numbers.

    I could argue forever that it doesn't manipulate numbers. My argument may be strong like yours.... However, I can never argue that its right.
  11. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    I understand what you are saying. I have even condoned them working, even though there wasn't a legitimate reason other than new hires who can't keep up. But, this is clear manipulation of numbers. 4 of them working because we are the worst preload in the district and they need to get the numbers up. I have heard this said myself. I am still friends with preloaders and talk to them regularly. They are terrified to grieve. It's not like this at every building, I am sure. But, it is at mine. Being rural isn't always good for the union folk.
  12. soberups

    soberups Pees in the brown Koolaid

    Having sups work to "get the numbers up" is like having a doctor who gives you pain medication and then touches up your X-rays with white-out in order to hide a tumour. You might feel better for a little while, but your underlying problem will continue getting worse as long as your doctor keeps masking the symptoms. Unfortunately, solutions are often painful.
  13. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    We had a sup once who grasped that her working just prolonged the issue at hand. The number is too high; the number of employees for the workload, too low. These guys just follow what the DM says like lemmings off the edge.
  14. 8up

    8up Member

    i don't mind having a sup work, especially when they can demonstrate what they expect to see the hourly performing. i don't need someone telling me what i'm doing wrong when they themselves can't even do it. sometimes it's nice to have a sup in there in the heat of the battle just to make my life a little easier. i'm sure we all have some in the operation that can't wait to see a sup working just so they can scratch their itch they have for that kind of thing. you change my hours, then i've got an issue. if you classify left in bldg as a late pickup, it's an issue to someone, probably not me. if it makes the district look better, it's probably not gonna be an issue to alot of folks who have to answer when the district is not looking so good. i guess there are somethings i'd just rather not know about. it still seems like an integrity issue and i'm not sure everyone has the same level of intensity about it as the company dogma would like folks to believe.
  15. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    I can't stand the two different thresholds we are held to. Sup misload, oh well. We misload, write-up, Art 7 hearings.......
  16. brownmonster

    brownmonster Man of Great Wisdom

    Non of the problems with this company will ever be fixed unless and until someone above has the balls to actually admit that they exist.
  17. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, a supervisor working EVERY DAY is a manipulation of the numbers. I would give poor marks to a manager who allows that to happen. No excuses!
    However, you are reading to much into a division manager's public reaction into a video. Again, I give poor marks to any management person who disciplines folks out in view of others to see. It may be necessary during a confrontation that cannot be put into a controlled situation but that should be exception not the rule. That being said, a division manager should confront the manager of the supervisors in private and create an action plan to eliminate supervisors working. I had an issue of supervisors working behind my back. It was condoned by prior management and old habits die hard.
    I had 35 supervisors working for me. I had meetings devoted to the subject explaining why I disapproved, why it was wrong and how it reflected on a supervisors ability to manage and supervise their people. I observed how supervisors came to work and what they looked like at the end of their shift. I closely monitored the chatter on the radio and went to the hot spots to observe and coach. There were numerous coaching and counseling sessions one on one. Disciplinary action did result. I also enlisted the aid of shop stewards. I had 0 when I started and it took me a year to get the first in place and got up to 3 back-ups.

    As a non-management person, none of this would be transparent to you. If you saw a supervisor working, you might think that higher-ups condoned it.
  18. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    True. But, I do know when I first started on preload we were #1 in the division. We were that for the longest time. Because of something occurring, we went to the bottom. I have my own opinion, it boils down to over managing. The work sucks, but they are over thinking the process. It's pretty basic. No lie, 4 managers work every day. They dump bags load trucks, scan, DA, everything. So, I would assume at some point someone has to realize what's going on. Number goes down in a sup has the day off. Hello? They might not 'know' in Syr., but they have to have some type of an idea.
  19. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    Let me add this, the nickname for our building is 'The Black Hole'. No manager wants to transfer there. Maybe, subconsciencely, that plays a factor. It's always something there. Maybe not. As you said, my view is through a tiny hole in the wall with a view that is skewed by blinds. I really don't know what they know or think. Our building is very rural. I have heard sales people say things run differently closer to the suits.
  20. UPS Lifer

    UPS Lifer Well-Known Member

    "The Black Hole" is not a new euphemism for a poor running operation. Back in the mid 90's, my district had a building with that title!

    There is one sure way to bring attention to supervisors working. First go to the manager and let him/her know who-when-where and document it. Let him/her know that is a violation of the contract and if it is not fixed, you will have to file a grievance and will continue to file a grievance every instance it happens. The chain of command is part-time supervisor, full time supervisor and the manager is in charge of the operation. Go to the manager and bring the shop steward with you. Give him/her a chance to fix it before you file a grievance.