Investing around US$1.0 bn in technology annually, UPS is said to prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) with its many ways of leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. For instance, UPS Bot developed by the company can respond to common customer queries and mimic human conversations. It could even give out shipping rates and track packages. Customers could use Google Assistant, Alexa, and other virtual assistants, social media channels, and mobile devices to ask questions via voice or text commands. The bot experiences more learning with more number of conversations with humans.
UPS has History of Embracing Change and Evolving as New Technologies Arise
In its peak time, UPS provided an over 137 mn UPS My Choice alerts to residential customers for helping them decide when, where, and how home deliveries occur. Even without using a tracking number, customers could receive information about their deliveries and incoming packages because of the integration of the chatbot with the free UPS My Choice system. On-road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) is another proprietary tool used by the company for managing its fleet system. Its advanced algorithms could alter routes on the fly depending on accidents or changing weather conditions. They could also create optimal routes for delivery drivers using vehicle, driver, and customer data.
For UPS’ internal operations, the company employs Enhanced Dynamic Global Execution (EDGE) that makes its logistics network smarter, optimizes operations, reduces costs, and helps employees make decisions with the use of real-time data. Then there are Network Planning Tools (NPT) to optimize the flow of packages. Use of autonomous deliveries and drones could also be in the offing.