“As a key driver of growth and differentiation in the express logistics sector, it not only helps the particular company and the sector, but the economies and the people that are intertwined with the environment at large,” says Osman. As a specialist in innovation, Dr Tim Jones, director of research for the programme Innovation Leaders, agrees. His programme has been analysing innovation in the world’s leading companies for more than ten years now and has consistently highlighted the companies making the most of their innovative activities to drive growth each year.
“To be seen as a leader in innovation, a company must be leading its sector in the impact it gains from the innovation,” says Jones. “So it is not just about how much it spends on innovation, nor is it about the number of new products or services it launches.” Dr Jones and his team have identified UPS as a prime example of an innovation leader for the express logistics sector. Behind their new catchy mantra ‘We Love Logistics’, Jones suggests that the operator has combined international expansion, the appropriate use of technology and some insightful innovation to make it a leader in the field.
“In a world where little things can have an impact on efficiency, UPS is continuously refining its operations and processes,” he states. “The airfreight component of the UPS business has become as slick as its heritage ground delivery network.”
As an example, he refers to the seemingly simple decision for all UPS vehicles in the US to avoid turning left, wherever possible. “The notion that it is better to turn right three times with the flow of traffic than turn left against it was a typical fine tuning of the system,” says Jones.
“With UPS, innovation is clearly focused on efficiency from on-line services and on fine-tuning the backbone system.” High praise indeed for one of the leading express operators, but what is the driving force behind UPS’ emphasis on innovation?
“As service underlies everything that we do, we think of our customers’ business needs, how to best support their processes, how to add value to their bottom line and we make our decisions based on how best to pursue those ends,” says Mark Khayat, vice president of sales for Middle East, Turkey, Central Asia Express at UPS.
Early this year, UPS rolled out its comprehensive inbound shipping solution, UPS Import ControlSM in the Middle East. The solution allows businesses in the region to initiate shipments and UPS package collection in another country and have them delivered to over a hundred countries and territories. With UPS Import Control, these ‘self-shippers’ can take control of their imports, ensure accuracy and compliance and prevent delays.