The broadcast is devoted to the training techniques applied at the United Parcel Service (UPS) to increase the efficiency of their delivery services. The training program is comprehensive and encompasses all delivery activities that UPS drivers have to perform: from stacking packages into a truck to driving. The examples of techniques taught include stimulations (driving carefully to avoid obstacles and reduce the chance of injuries, walking on ice), multitasking efficiency (turning the key with one hand and fastening seatbelt with the other), and performing tasks with a timer on (Dahlgren, 2012). Another thing that was not mentioned in the broadcast is a videogame that places drivers in an alternative reality where they have to drive a truck in the village of small houses and office building and deliver five packages in 19 minutes without damaging any of the constructions (Levitz, 2010).
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I believe that the major objective of this severe training program is not only to prepare drivers for high season when a lot of parcels will have to be delivered in the shortest time possible but also to make them generally stress-resistant. When they get accustomed to extreme conditions and tough demands, it will be much easier for them to operate daily when nothing extraordinary usually happens.
Another evident purpose that the company is striving to achieve is to win a competitive edge in the delivery market and reaffirm its reputation as the most reliable service in the field. The common problem of all delivery services at high seasons is that they simply fail to manage the number of orders, which leaves most clients frustrated, especially if presents they expected to arrive were delayed. Focusing solely on customer satisfaction, UPS wins commitment and increases recognition thereby making the company an attractive organization to work for.
The techniques applied for the delivery service are quite universal and can be useful for other industries as well. For example, numerous factories can implement the same multitasking strategy for their manufacturing line workers. If they have limited time to perform each activity and learn that every second count, the process of production will be considerably accelerated. Furthermore, it is already a common practice among veterinary doctors who work with cattle on farms. They have to make several thousand injections a day, which means that they cannot deviate from the prescribed sequence and timing of actions as it saves a lot of time. Since these activities seem to be rather entertaining, they can also be introduced in schools in the form of games to teach children how to focus attention and perform all kinds of tasks in the most effective manner.
The apparent advantage of this approach is that a lot of time and money is saved because all redundant movements are eliminated. Moreover, drivers increase the safety of their work as they learn how to do things without damaging their cars and inflicting injuries to themselves. Doing their job in the time they help the company get new customers, which is also beneficial. Yet, there are certain disadvantages to this approach. First and foremost, they are connected with the stress level. It is hard to be placed in extreme conditions and try to survive all the time. Those drivers who do not cope with tasks may feel frustrated and lose confidence in their professional abilities. Secondly, raising standards higher, the company poses itself at risk of not corresponding to them in the future, which will inevitably lead to customer disappointment.
Dahlgren, K. (2012, November 26). UPS ‘boot camp’ preps workers for the holidays [Video file].
Levitz, J. (2010, April 7). UPS thinks out of the box on driver training. Yahoo Finance.