CASE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. What are the inputs, processing, and outputs of UPS’s package tracking system? Inputs: The inputs include package information, customer signature, pickup, delivery, time-card data, current location (while en route), and billing and customer clearance documentation. Processing: The data are transmitted to a central computer and stored for retrieval. Data are also reorganized so that they can be tracked by customer account, date, driver, and other criteria such as the consolidation of orders for efficient final delivery of packages. Outputs: The outputs include pickup and delivery times, location while en route, and package recipient. The outputs also include various reports, such as all packages for a specific account or a specific driver or route, as well as summary reports for management. 2. What technologies are used by UPS? How are these technologies related to UPS’s business strategy? Technologies consist of handheld computers (DIADs), bar-code scanners, wired and wireless communications networks, desktop computers, UPS’s central computer, storage technology for the package delivery data, UPS in-house package tracking software, and many different pieces of software to access the Internet and many different pieces of software for tracking packages, calculating fees, maintaining customer accounts, and managing logistics. The Web serves as the foundation for new kinds of information systems such as their Web-based package tracking system. Through the use of DIADs, the UPS drivers automatically capture customers’ signatures along with pickup, delivery, and time-card information. UPS’s information systems use these data to track packages while they are being transported. The result is an information system solution to the business challenge of providing a high level of service with low prices in the face of mounting competition. UPS has used the same strategy for over 90 years. Its strategy is to provide the “best service and...
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