UPS and Globalization
– How does UPS use information systems technology to achieve its strategic goals of being more efficient and customer oriented?
– What would happen if the automated package tracking system was not available?
– Discuss how globalization has ‘flattened’ the world.
– Explain the importance of collaboration and information sharing for businesses.
– Explain what a smart product is and use an example.
– How do smart products increase rivalry among firms
Question 1: How does UPS use information systems technology to achieve its strategic goals of being more efficient and customer oriented?
United Parcel Service focuses on utilizing the current and emerging technologies to attain its strategic business goals, which include enhancing efficiency in its operations and customer services. As a result, the company has done research and made a significant investment in emerging technologies to attain its goals. Some of the companies used by the company include handheld computers (DIADs), desktop computers, wired and wireless communications networks, barcode scanning systems, and storage technology for package delivery data. Besides, the company applies telecommunication technologies for transferring data through pagers and cellular phone networks. UPS uses in-house software to track packages, maintain customer accounts, and manage logistics.
This technology has helped the company achieve its strategic goal of being customer-oriented. For instance, the company launched a Web-based Post Sales Order Management System (OMS) in 2009. This technology allows customers, such as medical equipment, high-tech electronics, aerospace, and other companies that transport goods to identify the most suitable routing approach to satisfy consumer needs, make orders online, and follow-up their orders from the store to customers. Besides, the technology allows customers to download and print their labels, hence improving the company’s customer service while maintaining low costs and making the company operations more efficient.
The other strategic business objective that UPS aims to achieve includes operational excellence. UPS has invested in in-house package tracking software for tracking packages, managing logistics, and customer services. This technology has helped the company to identify the most efficient delivery route, streamline its overall operations, and minimize delivery costs.
Question 2: What would happen if the automated package tracking system was not available?
The lack of an automated package tracking system would affect the UPS negatively in various areas. One of the major challenges UPS would face include higher costs. In the past, the UPS used manual packaging and tracking systems which were inefficient and time-consuming. As a result, the company would incur a lot of expenses when processing and delivering the customers’ products and providing information to them. An automated packaging tracking system helps the company to reduce costs since it reduces the time spent in entering information electronically and improves the packing team’s accuracy, efficiency, and accountability (Avram, et al., 2021). Thus, it helps the company to reduce costs in the long run. Secondly, the company would face errors in the packaging and tracking process. The manual packing and tracking system involves a lot of processes that are done manually by the staff. This is increases the chances of making errors or missing a package. An automated packaging and tracking system has helped address this issue. The automated system eliminates many of the steps that drag the team down and consumes a lot of time. For instance, in an automated system, a barcode reading system is utilized to scan a package’s data hence eliminating the need for manual data entry, which is time-consuming and less accurate (Avram, et al., 2021). Besides, an automated packaging and tracking system streamlines and refines the packaging and tracking processes. Thirdly, the customers would be affected negatively if the information system was not available. The automated packaging tracking system in the company has helped the support team stay organized. With an efficient support system, the staff has been able to resolve problems with the supply chain by alerting them on any possible issues which pop up, unlike in the manual system. Therefore, the customers would have been experiencing challenges in making their orders and increased costs if the automated packaging tracking system was unavailable in the company.
Question 3: Discuss how globalization has flattened the world
According to Wade (2018), globalization has played a significant role in flattening the world. The flat-world view is a symbol for seeing the world as a uniform playing field in terms of commerce, whereby all competitors enjoy an equal opportunity, except for labor. Globalization promotes the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a global aspect of an interrelated and co-dependent world characterized by the open flow of products, technology, information, and jobs across national borders and cultures. Globalization has led to various forces, which have contributed to a flat world. First, globalization has promoted outsourcing (Wade, 2018). Improved flow of information, technology, and products has allowed companies to subcontract specific functions or tasks performed in-house like call-center operations, tax preparation, and research to other entities to execute them at a lower cost. Secondly, globalization has contributed to increased web connectivity (Wade, 2018). The increased flow of technology and information worldwide has made countries cooperate globally. This has led to the flattening of the world. Advanced communication technologies such as computers can allow one to connect with any individual around the world. Thirdly, globalization has promoted offshoring (Wade, 2018). It entails relocating an entire operation, function, or company from one location to another. This has been encouraged by the flattening of labor costs, lower taxes, and subsidized energy. For instance, China is an example of countries which have businesses offshore.
Question 4: Explain the importance of collaboration and information sharing for businesses.
Collaboration and information sharing are important for businesses. One of the benefits the companies enjoy from enhanced collaboration and information sharing at the workplace includes improved productivity (Colicchia et al., 2019). When employees collaborate and share information, they can learn from each other and improve their ways of doing things, hence improving their performance. With increased employee productivity, the company can achieve its goals efficiently. Secondly, collaboration and information sharing in businesses encourage employees from different professions or departments to work together and help each other out (Colicchia et al., 2019). In this case, each individual gets an opportunity to share his/her knowledge, skills, and talent with other team members. This enhances creativity as the team members acquire new ideas and knowledge that helps them resolve complicated issues they encounter in their practices. Another benefit businesses enjoy from collaboration and information sharing includes an improved workplace atmosphere. As colleagues team up and share information to perform various tasks, they get an opportunity to connect and strengthen their relationships and even appreciate each other’s work, hence promoting team spirit and decreasing workplace conflicts (Colicchia et al., 2019).
Question 5: Explain what a smart product is and use an example.
A smart product is an innovative device with various advanced features such as wireless sensor networks to enable it to work faster and be more useful. A microchip is an example of a smart product. It is used to collect, process, and produce information.
Question 6: How do smart products increase rivalry among firms
Smart products have the potential to cause rivalry among firms. As firms are engaging in expanding the capabilities in smart products, firms may be tempted to engage in feature and function arms races with their rivals (Kahle et al., 2020). Also, smart products can create rivalry among competitors as they become key elements of broader product systems. For instance, companies manufacturing home lighting and climate control systems have not historically battled with each other. However, currently, the manufacturers are now fighting for a position in the emerging connected home that incorporates and adds intelligence to a broad range of items (Kahle et al., 2020).
Avram, C., Modoranu, M., Radu, D., & Aştilean, A. (2021, June). Smart Packages Tracking System. In International Conference Innovation in Engineering (pp. 141-153). Springer, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-79168-1_14
Colicchia, C., Creazza, A., Noè, C., & Strozzi, F. (2019). Information sharing in supply chains: a review of risks and opportunities using the systematic literature network analysis (SLNA). Supply Chain Management: An International Journal. https://re.public.polimi.it/bitstream/11311/1119286/1/colicchia%20et%20al%202019.pdf
Kahle, J. H., Marcon, É., Ghezzi, A., & Frank, A. G. (2020). Smart Products value creation in SMEs innovation ecosystems. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 156, 120024. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alejandro.pdf
Wade, S. L. (2018). Globalization and the Flattening of the World: A Book Review of “The World is Flat”. The Kabod, 5(1), 3. https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1096&context=kabod