UPS Gets Rid of “The UPS Difference”

                  In a world of homogenized, generic, look alike products and services, UPS has risen to the top of the delivery world. When you compare the companies out there doing the same thing, the outward appearance would be a simple color choice. Brown for one, purple and orange/green for another, yellow for another, red and blue yet for another. Even though they are different colors, the overall appearance is the same. The trucks are similar, the planes are similar, the delivery process is similar. So why would one company rise to the top over another when they all perform pretty much the same function in the delivery of goods and merchandise? The Customers Favorite Time of the DayThe only difference would be the customer contact. The extra little time the UPS driver gives to the customer makes the delivery experience more personalized. The time it takes to ask the receptionist how her sick kid is doing. The minute it took to ask the dock foreman how his car ran in the race over the weekend. The discussion with a small business man about his new business and his future needs for shipping to make his business successful. All of these conversations go on every day. The UPS customer has come to rely on and trust their faithful, friendly UPS driver. The customer knows what time of day it is by the driver’s consistent arrival to their business or home. They know they will be greeted with a friendly “hello” or “how yah doin'”, and that this person truly cares about their business, and their lives. The company has even sold these relationships in their commercials. The truth is most drivers are truly special people. The company goes out of it’s way to hire personable people to represent them in the public eye.
              With Telematics those days are over. There is no sensor in the system for customer contact. Everything is a function of time. There is no sensor for establishing professional relationships that could lead to future business. Again it’s all about time. There is no sensor to determine whether the driver was shooting the sh–, or discussing future business for both the customer and UPS. Many times one eventually leads to the other. It is the trust built up over time that leads many of UPS’s customers to use them over FedEx. With todays Telematics system there will be no time built in to build that trust or to take that time.  To most customers that driver is UPS! The company has dictated that there will be no more! 
             In their zeal to improve efficiency the company is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. They are doing away with the very thing that has made the company special in an otherwise humdrum world. The drivers will now live in fear that they will be disciplined for any extra time that will show up on Telematics in their delivery day. The first thing to go will be taking time to service the customer. After the center manager has hauled the driver in the office a few times, (like it or not “company” the driver perceives that meeting as discipline), the driver will cease to make that special effort to help the customer. The driver will conform to the company demand of efficient production without customer contact, and the customer will be left with that uncaring, unfriendly feeling they get from the other delivery companies. When the time comes for them to make their decisions about who they want to handle their shipping needs, there will be nothing to differentiate UPS from all the other wannabes. 
             The disappearance of customer contact will certainly make each driver more efficient on a day to day basis. The question would be, “what will be the overall effect on the company’s goals of volume development”.
              It’s just another one of those unintended consequences of Telematics. 
The other effect will be the driver’s sense of pride in UPS. Without the opportunity to show they care, and with the constant scrutiny, the tendency will be for the driver to become less caring, and involved, in the success of the company. For many people the world is all about money. The truth is, money doesn’t make the world go around. Many drivers take pride in what they do because they know they are having an effect in people’s lives in even some small way. Telematics will see to it that those days are over.
               Another unintended consequence!

           More on the Competition and Why this is Important