Why is UPS so successful? It's the people...

UPS Lifer

Well-Known Member
I came accross this from another UPS site. It was written by Kevin Stirtz and is titled "UPS Fixed My Radio. The story can be found at:

This is what makes me proud to be a part of this organization....What makes you proud? We can never discount the positive impact our people have every day they do there job...especially those folks who come in contact with the public day after day. Thank you for making our brand what it is today:thumbup1::thumbup1:

Yesterday, on my way to a meeting, I walked by a UPS truck. As I passed by the driver called my name. I looked over and recognized Robin, the UPS driver I had met in the mid 90's when I owned a small technology business.

We chatted for a bit. He asked (by name) how my wife was. We shook hands and went on with our days.

Every time I see Robin, I think of two things.

One is my grandfather on my mother's side, Grandpa Hogan. Because Grandpa Hogan died when I was young I didn't get to know him very well. But he left me something I've treasured ever since. It's an old wooden radio. It never worked very well and after a few years it died completely.

The reason Robin the UPS driver makes me think of my grandfather is because Robin loves old radios. His hobby is restoring them. One day (back in the 90's) he and I were talking when he told me this. I mentioned the radio my grandfather had given me so he asked about it.

When I told him it didn't work he offered to fix it. So now I have a treasured gift from my grandfather that is even better because it's been restored and repaired.

The second thing Robin reminds me of is why I do business with certain companies over and over. He brings his whole being to his job. He'll be the first to tell you he's nothing special. But he loves people and he shows it. He shows up every day and he builds relationships with every stop he makes.

What Robin does for his customers you cannot train. And you cannot motivate, cajole or threaten employees into doing it. It comes from the heart.

The amazing thing is, Robin is not alone in this. UPS excels at hiring people like Robin. They're good at it and it shows with almost every UPS driver, customer service representative and station employee I've met.

Ask yourself, how do your employees compare to Robin? How many radios have they fixed lately?

If your answer is "none", "not many" or you don't know then think about how you can change that. Find ways to hire people who enjoy people. Find employees who will show up every day in every way. Recruit people who truly care about others.

Then give them a working environment that lets them be who they are. Enable them to show their personality and to develop relationships with their customers. Build a company that values, rewards and encourages this.

The power of a relationship is beyond measure. And the impact it can have on your organization will knock your socks off.
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promoted to mediocrity
An excellent illustration of the difference between United Parcel Service and UPS, a publicly traded corporation.


free at last.......
You're darn right it's the people!!!

There's more to getting business (and keeping it) than turning in a lead card. The problem being that in this day and age of everything being documented (ie. showing up on paper somewhere), it doesn't mean anything to the "powers that be". It's an intangable and does not fit neatly in their folder for all to see and otherwise justify their existence.

In their narrow little world, they have to see it in black & white or it doesn't mean anything. Oh you get the obigatory " our people are our biggest asset" speech. But it was written by somebody years ago. Somebody who actually meant it (and knew it) and didn't have to read it off of a "piece of paper".

Hondo pretty much hit the nail on the head. It (like most things, these days) comes down to money and control. The problem is, they've wasted more of it chasing the paper trail than they would have using their "biggest asset" and that is their people. The same people that they've turned into "just another number" in their quest for the "perfect" sheet of paper!


Browncafe Steward
Those were the best 3 posts put together that i have ever seen on any forum! Ups lifer geatd post, and we all do really care about the customer and even the general public, ups has hired great people in the past, the problem here is most of us worke 2 and 3 jobs for 5 or more years to get to our ftime status here, and in some way that has made us better people in doing so. I can tell that post was some time ago, probably before pas/edd because poor robin doesnt have time to fix radios anymore.

Hondo and just tired both had great replys, and since we went public the company has changed and i for one cant wait for the day when we can put the service back into the s in ups!


Most Awesome Dog
Staff member
Upslifer, you hit it when you mentioned that it means so much to have someone remember your name.

Even to a customer you see once a month, and remember his name by glancing at the package. Especially when its someone who doesnt have a lot in life. Calling them by name makes them feel like they really matter. I know thats not what we get paid to do, but it is important. You can see the smile just grow on a crippled person sitting in a wheel chair enjoying the sunshine. And they tell YOU to have a good day. It is humbling. Its times like that I think how selfish it is that I get mad sometimes when I get tired coz Ive had a lot of hours. And this poor person wishes he could just climb in my truck as I so easily do.

While UPS may have let go of that part, Ill spend my lunch and break not letting that part go. Every person who you treat nice, tells a bunch of other people, same as when you treat someone bad. While I may spend longer than I want in my truck, I need to feel I did more than make money, and make my boss happy. I have to make me happy. And making people feel good, or sharing a moment with someone, who might not get alot of company, makes me happy, and at the end of the day, when Im tired, I know in some small way, someones day might have been better. Just coz I showed up. And cared.


Well-Known Member
I think in some instances we're riding on the back of our own coat tails. A first class operation is one that you'd be proud to own yourself. And since some of these threads are devoted to the disbanding some of our original departments, (customer service, claims, payroll, etc.), to the lack of building supplies, the scruffy package cars, service issues and mind games, the delicate and nearly transparent new Chinese silk brown uniforms, etc., this company is now focused on showing our investors a winning story. And impressing them with long term returns from a hugely profitable company.

But aside from that, we down at the bottom deal with the public and the magic really happens between the customers and our employees who meet them face to face. Whether we're out there running and sweating or battling it out in our little prairie villages (cubicles,)THIS is where all the real work gets done, down here in the trenches. But unfortunately, it's the CEO's and the other big boys clinging hard to the top rungs of the ladder who get all the credit.

Keep up the fantastic work everybody, and to those way up there in that Ivory Tower, I say - You don't even have a clue as to which clue you're missing...


I hope this isn't off the thread, but I think it applies.
This weekend I was at our family reunion. It was held at my nephews house. He is now one of the most prominent(sp) patent lawyers in the U.S.. He told me that the reason he loves to watch sunsets is because of me. Basically, I asked wtf are you talking about. He remembered that I use to take him( when he was about 5 years old) and my 17yr old dog "Rusty" out to a field, just to sit and watch the sunset. I said that was in the days when I was writing poetry and I knew "Rusty" was not going to live much longer and just wanted her to run free. He then told me, he has one of my "poems" displayed on his desk.
I was flattered.
Back to the thread.
It just reminded me that it is the small things one does that have a large impact.
This is the way I try to approach my job.


Well-Known Member
Great story. I remember when I was on the preload over 20 yrs. ago, we had a division manager come down and I talked to him for about 15 minuets. The talk centered around UPS and he told me " the bad workers usually weed themselves out"
Well, he has since died, and I will never forget those words. They are so true. Now I know that each center has 1 or 2 people that are the exception. But even they are most likely to give descent service. UPS`s hard work ethic, constant moving, tough standards are not easy. If it were easy, anybody would be able to do it. As you get used to it, it gets easier, but its never easy. I have been on the same route almost 20 yrs. and have developed great friendships and relations with about 99% of my customers. I even have been to some weddings and their childrens weddings.

As a driver, service above the norm, is the only thing we can offer that will seperate us from the other carriers. And it`s this service, that we give on a daily basis, I believe, keeps alot of our customers loyal.

Sorry to ramble on people.


I believe that I can speak to this post. Unfortunately, it would seem that we have all been reduced, regardless of the position that we hold, to achieving a "number" for some intermediate bureaucat to report on his/her spreadsheet to corporate. I, like so many of you, grew up in an organization that truly held the values that were implemented by our founders. We have become an organization that has been taken over by "lets milk it for five or six years and then move on" type individuals. These people hold positions in management and bring their "I want it now" work ethic to the table. The problem is that I see an effort on the part of the organization to cater to this type of individual. Where does that leave us people who were raised to be loyal to the organization and to sacrifice now for future rewards. At times, it would seem that UPS has forgotten about the virtues that originally made this company great. One of those was hard work. Another was understanding and appreciating those who are in the employ of the company, "people". As I approach retirement, I fear for the future of UPS. We have some very flashy advertisements on TV. Our leader brags about how we are everything to everyone. The reality, however, is that our infrastructure has been compromised and watered down by political correctness and self proclaimed greatness: often times by those who have no right to claim that greatness.