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United Parcel Services Leadership Report

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Updated: Jan 4th, 2022

Introduction

Scott Davis, the CEO and chairman of United Parcel Services since 2008, is an innovative leader who has been able to put together the company’s yesterday’s foundation, today’s strengths and tomorrow’s goals to establish the strongest package delivering company in the region. Serving as a CEO in Overseas Partners Ltd. from 1998 to 2000, the CEO has a wealth of leadership and data management skills strongly emphasized in Overseas Partners Ltd. Being a reinsurance company that provides reinsurance against damage or loss of packages carried by delivery companies, Overseas Ltd. puts much emphasis on understanding data management in delivery companies as well as security issues in the industry. This is so as to manage their risks in a more informed manner. He has been able to bring that to United Parcel Services and demonstrated exemplary leadership skills.

Recent challenges in the company

United Parcel Services recently faced challenges with their high-density data centers (1). Monitoring millions of packages and clients can be a challenge for such a business. A developing global market presents a big business opportunity for the business but also presents a challenge, especially in data management. The CEO’s embrace of technology and encouragement to his team to do the same is one of his outstanding leadership skills. Together with the management team, he advocated for an investment in their electronic commerce systems to allow the business’ global development. The CEO has been on the front line supporting the business’ forefront position in enhancing e-commerce. He has supported this by adopting globally tracking data systems to allow connectivity with their global clients and enable them to give real-time solutions to customers. Tracking a parcel for a customer is today easy with the help of improved technology in their data centers.

Leadership skills

When he took over the position of CEO, Scott was faced with a challenge to improve security concerns as the company was experiencing many cases of suspicious cargo being delivered through their services. The CEO did this by convincing the executive team to review the company’s security protocols. He also initiated more involvement by security officials both in the United States and in every country they have established a presence in. Collaboration with relevant authorities is an important leadership skill Scott has demonstrated considering the nature of their business. The CEO who believes in continuous improvement continues to push for more enhanced security details by encouraging his employees and management to communicate and point out any areas which may be deemed as a threat to their commitment to security. He has also ensured that the company adheres to the government’s Transportation Security Administration’s Security Standards (2). This is part of leadership skills that ensures that a business complies with all legal requirements.

Another important leadership skill at UPS is the ability to keep employees motivated and able to adjust to fluctuating business levels. The company experiences extremely high levels of business during holiday seasons, end months and other special occasions. Businesses and consumers count on the business’ logistics to deliver hundreds of millions of packages during this season. By continuous training and allowing a friendly communication channel between employees and the management, the CEO has been able to maintain consistency during such periods. In 2009, the company is said to have delivered more than 430 million packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a 60% increase from the company’s deliveries in normal seasons (2). The management keeps its employees motivated during this period by rewarding them through bonuses.

Until 2008, the business had been getting poor environmental scores and the CEO initiated research to establish ways in which they can minimize environmental impacts caused by emissions from their cars and packaging materials. This was also done by investigating weaknesses at the leadership level which were hindering environmental improvement. It was discovered that the executive management was not allocating enough funds to environmental concerns and research. In May the same year, the business placed a heavy investment in environmental improvement by buying 200 hybrid electric vehicles and 300 compressed natural gas (2). The initiative has seen the company score 40 points out of the possible 100, a big improvement from their previous scores. The business has since been awarded a Clean Air Excellence Award.

Conclusion

To improve employees’ performance, the business encourages and rewards innovative projects. A good example is the company’s huge bonus rewards to its research team for starting a program where the company’s customers can buy carbon offsets, becoming the first small package carrier to do so. This move is part of the leadership initiative to reduce greenhouse emissions by the transportation of their packages and establish an environmentally friendly business.

Endnotes

  1. Wan, William. “Interview: United Parcel Service’s CEO on the opportunities and challenges of global electronic commerce.” International Business Review, 2002, 44: 445-454.
  2. United Parcel Services. Statement on UPS Security Review and accelerated transit time, 2009. Web.
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