UPS Technology Speeds Training For Holiday Workers
UPS has unveiled two innovative technologies that will ease and accelerate training for many of the nearly 95,000 seasonal workers the company will hire to help manage increased package volume during this year’s holiday shopping season.
The first is an update to the Mobile Delivery App, which resides on users’ smartphones and helps delivery personnel easily manage package deliveries. It features most of the functionality of the handheld DIADs (Delivery Information Acquisition Device) that UPS delivery drivers carry. UPS launched the first DIAD in 1991 and is now on the fifth generation.
The second innovation, Dynamic Sort Instruction, uses Bluetooth audio to tell workers in sorting facilities where to route packages. Employees carry a device about the size of a cell phone and wear ear buds to receive processing instructions as they scan packages. This technology eliminates the need for workers to memorize hundreds of postal codes and other service-level details. Dynamic Sort Instruction gets employees up to speed faster, eliminating 40 hours of training that occur on the job.
“UPS IT and engineering professionals developed both of these technologies in-house to streamline the onboarding experience for seasonal staff in order to help us meet our commitments to customers during our busiest time of the year,” said Juan Perez, UPS chief information and engineering officer.
UPS rolled out an earlier version of the Mobile Delivery App in 2016 and has enhanced the functionality for 2017. Two of the most important upgrades are the ability to complete c.o.d. stops and the ability to complete scheduled pickups.
The Mobile Delivery App also features a map view that shows delivery locations; the ability to sort delivery stops by distance; the ability for customers to sign for packages using their fingers; and the ability to download routes while away from a UPS building.
The app reduces UPS equipment expenses while greatly enhancing productivity. It is downloadable on UPS-issued smartphones or, in some cases, smartphones owned by employees. The deployment date is October 30. Ten-thousand to fifteen-thousand workers will use the app until the end of the peak shopping and returns season.