Why did UPS centralize BPM? #BPM

The past nine months has been and excellent opportunity to get to know UPS and their uniquely process-focused approach to their work. What was once a straightforward  business of picking up a package in one place and dropping it in another has changed significantly as the business environment has grown more complex, their customers more global, and their services more value-add. The details of their ongoing transformation can be found in this month’s BP Trends as a case study by Dawson Wood, the leader of the Process and Project Centers of Excellence at their headquarters in Atlanta, GA.


To get a better sense of how critical processes are, try to imagine the amount of work involved in coordinating 406,000 employees working in 2,750 operating facilities and 62,000 retail access points. They move 15.1 million packages and documents daily, including 2.2 million just by air and 2.3 million internationally. On an annual basis, UPS delivers 4 billion packages and documents through a fleet of approximately 100,000 package cars, vans, tractors, motorcycles and 233 UPS-owned aircraft (the eighth largest airline in the world).

The coordination required to make this successful is staggering. The secret to their success to date is the following:

  • Centralization of their business process function
  • Simple, end-user-friendly tools that allow business people to manage their own process data
  • Frameworks that include their own and APQC’s PCF
  • Aggressive growth internationally
  • Pursue logistics as a move up the value chain in an increasingly global world


The UPS global package delivery network becomes more much valuable to their customers when it can be used to manage international supply chains. As I wrote in March of 2011 in Hey, who interrupted my supply chain?, as more companies move toward using external organizations to create just-in-time supplies of parts and even whole products, there needs to be an increasingly complex-but-easily-used system to manage the movement of parts and finished goods. Many of the changes UPS is going through are part of their strategy to be the logistics backbone of choice.

Take the time to read the BP Trends case study and get the story in their own words.


Tags: ,

Categories: Strategy, Workplace Reality

Author:Chris Taylor

Reimagining the way work is done through big data, analytics, and event processing. There's no end to what we can change and improve. I wear myself out...

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