Tuesday, March 24, 2009
UPS uses certain quality control methods. It is unknown if they use quality control charts, but the assumption can be made that they use some type of QC charts. This is because the continuous improvement at UPS package delivery department is measured by certain errors (will be explained shortly), so charts of some sort may be used.
Continuous Improvement is used at United Parcel Service. They want to make sure that the system that is in place can constantly deliver a superior service, and to do that, it is vital that they closely observe data to fix minor problems that can add up over time. Pareto Analysis is a tool UPS uses to correct mistakes for package delivery. For example, it was noticed that the package car drivers have been taking a longer amount of time to deliver packages than usual. Having this problem, along with a 2008 year that yielded the first loss in the company’s history, was not something they needed. To correct this, they collected data of what areas had the most mis-loads (package loaded into the wrong truck) and attacked them first.
Six-Sigma is also used to improve the package delivery process. The loading process is the one that needs improvement. The goals are set to reduce time to deliver packages. The causes of a longer route time are identified and proven to be a combination of mis-loads and loading the packages out of order. The improvement step includes writing the address and sequence number on the part of the package facing out and put in order so the driver can quickly identify and deliver. Controlling this process is done by meetings with supervisors to make sure that it is still being enforced and routine checks inside trucks are being conducted.
An idea that UPS should consider is keeping this process of writing the numbers, but also adding it as part of the training process for employees. If employees can thoroughly understand this process before jumping into the actual work, it will be a lot easier for them to adapt and master this way of loading.