Information Technology

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his/her package via the UPS Web site. However, technology also enables data to seamlessly flow throughout UPS and helps streamline the workflow at UPS. Thus, the technology described in the scenario enables UPS to be more competitive, efficient, and profitable. The result is an information system solution to the business challenge of providing a high level service with low prices in the face of mounting competition.

1.What would happen if these technologies were not available?

Arguably, UPS might not be able to compete effectively without technology. If the technology were not available, then UPS would, as it has through most of its history, attempt to provide that information to its customers, but at higher prices. From the customers’ perspective, these technologies provide value because they help customers complete their tasks more efficiently. Customers view UPS’s technology as value-added services as opposed to increasing the cost of sending packages.

MIS In Action

Explore the UPS Web site (www.ups.com) and answer the following questions:

1.What kind of information and services does the Web site provide for individuals, small businesses, and large businesses? List these services and write several paragraphs describing one of them, such as UPS Trade Direct or Automated Shipment Processing. Explain how you or your business would benefit from the service.

Answers will vary by the type of service students select. It’s important that they incorporate principles from this chapter in their answers. Make sure they organize their answers according to how the technology focuses on people, technology, and organizations. Many of the questions in the remaining chapters will ask for that kind of organization.

Explain how the Web site helps UPS achieve some or all of the strategic business objectives we described earlier in this chapter. What would be the impact on UPS’s
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