Driving Sustainable Logistics in Europe

Could cluster-based freight corridors bolster economic activity in Europe?

A hyper-connected network of logistics clusters could play a key role in achieving the European Union’s goal of creating a sustainable, more efficient freight transportation system. An EU-backed research initiative called Clusters 2.0 is laying the groundwork for such a network by developing ways to link freight hubs via the physical internet. Clusters 2.0 comprises […]

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Is Wearable Tech the Future of Safety Management?

What makes wearables so effective is their ability to help safety managers efficiently find the zebra in the herd of horses.

The Internet of Things has significantly enhanced the efficiency and safety of our day-to-day lives over the past several years. With the click of an icon, connected devices let us see who is in our house, control the thermostat, give our dogs a treat, monitor the afternoon commute, count our steps, gauge our sleep quality […]

Tech Needs Architects

Fintech, in particular, could learn from the complexity of architecture and the built environment.

I started my career in architecture, working for Norman Foster (architect of Apple’s headquarters) and then Fisher Park, set designers for the Rolling Stones. Today, I’m a partner with Anthemis, a VC firm that focuses on financial services. And there are many lessons from my previous career that apply today as I watch the fintech […]

The Hidden Benefits of a Sustainable Mindset

With Earth Day approaching, let’s examine the link between a culture of sustainability and one of innovation.

In some respects, it’s great news that more than half of the global population now lives in cities – a figure expected to increase to two in three people around the world by 2050. This growth makes cities a great place to live and work and gives them a real sense of energy and vitality. […]

5 Trends Transforming the Industrial Space

Distributors need to learn and adapt to customer needs through technology, talent and innovation.

The industrial market’s rapid transformation, which I wrote about last year,  continues unabated. The sector is drawing increased attention as the old-fashioned supply chain reinvents itself for the new business landscape. Here’s what we’re talking about right now: Millennials: You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Millions of Boomers will retire this year, leaving […]

To Go Circular, First Go Vertical

The vertical integration of your supply chain provides both economic and environmental benefits.

Early last year, the waste management world was abuzz with news of furniture manufacturing giant Ikea’s minority stake in the Dutch plastics recycling company, Morssinkhof Rymoplast Group. Part of the $1 billion Ikea earmarked for sourcing sustainable materials, this was a step toward achieving the company’s goal of making its plastic products from 100 percent recycled […]

To Take Charge of Your Career, Start by Building Your Tribe

Without tribes, it would be impossible to remember who we are and imagine who we might become.

Show me a person who sees uncertainty as opportunity, and I’ll show you a person who has mastered the new world of work. Sue Ashford, Amy Wrzesniewski and I have collected many stories that show as much for a study of knowledge and creative workers. We heard freelance journalists, consultants, designers, software engineers and executive coaches […]

How a Modern Touch Might Save Retail

The store isn’t dead, just reinvented.

UPS’s recently released Pulse of the Online Shopper Global Study is full of insights about the new landscape for retail, an environment where goods routinely move across borders thanks to online marketplaces. Here’s what the study does not contain: Proof that the store is dead. Sure, the retail landscape is rapidly changing: Last year, a record-high […]

Female Workforces Can Revolutionize Latin American Business

To bring change to SMEs, public policies are not enough. Entrepreneurs and managers must also embrace the cause of gender equality.

Daniel Velasquez owns a small snack manufacturing firm in Honduras, which produces plantain chips sold in bodegas across the country. A few years ago, Daniel was struggling to consistently find enough plantains that met the company’s quality standards. Supply issues are a typical headache for business owners, but the solution to Daniel’s problem came from […]

How to Deal With Life’s Risks More Rationally

An economist explores how to weigh risk in our personal and work lives more accurately.

The world is an uncertain and risky place. The news constantly bombards us with scary situations from school shootings to gruesome murders. Risk is everywhere and associated with everything. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a decade ago estimated 234,000 people a year ended up in emergency rooms because of bathroom injuries […]

Top Priorities in 2018? Supply Chain Visibility and Transparency

You can't drive blindly when running a business.

A common problem with supply chains is they become unwieldy beasts. Each individual element and component within the network knows what they are doing, but the big picture often becomes obscure. This leaves success in the supply chain down to luck and inevitable inefficiencies. You simply can’t operate a successful supply chain blindly. More and […]

NAFTA Is Nearly 25 Years Old – Let’s Modernize It

We must focus on what’s at stake, drawing on the art of negotiation and enlightened self-interest to create a brighter future for us all.

The art of negotiation is so important – harmonizing different points of view, experience and needs is a challenging task. As the CEO of a global business, I know a thing or two about negotiation and compromise, as well as the resulting benefits. Negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico have resumed talks to modernize […]

Inside UPS’s Electric Vehicle Strategy

It's time to rethink the return on investment for cleaner technologies.

Passenger electric cars get all the press, especially when someone launches one into space. But something important is going on in the world of commercial vehicles as well. Last year Tesla announced it would produce an electric long-haul big rig. PepsiCo, Walmart and UPS promptly committed to buying a few hundred. More recently, UPS made an important […]

Small Business Success: Charlotte Mobile Makery

Do you have the initial ingredients to survive in the startup world?

Shannon Hale and Jess Murphy recently left their jobs and started a small business together. Was it a difficult decision? “It was the worst decision I ever made,” Jess told me. OK … just kidding. She never said that. In fact, Jess said something very different. “Best decision ever,” she actually said. “Shannon and I […]

Unified Data Governance: A Competitive Advantage

Is data governance part of your company's offensive playbook?

Once deemed the core of a good defensive strategy, relegated primarily to aiding in regulatory compliance, data governance has made its way into the offensive playbook as organizations around the world seek to convert data into a competitive advantage. As data emerges as a strategic asset, data governance is in my view a foundational program […]

The Next Frontier: Selling Auto Parts Online

Smart dealerships see e-commerce as a friend – not a foe.

All dealerships – regardless of specialty or volume – would be wise to pay attention to this statistic: Twelve percent of online shoppers reported that they purchased automotive parts accessories in the last three months, according to the latest UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study. While that is a small percentage, it is growing […]

Avoid Plateaus to Keep Your Competitive Edge

Companies that settle into a comfortable plateau are vulnerable and may become obsolete.

Knowledge calcifies. People begin to believe the status quo is the only logical way to do business. When presented with ideas for change, they mostly see obstacles. When you are stable and stationary, you are a sitting duck, easy to copy and vulnerable to commoditization. You quickly lose your edge. To achieve quantum leaps in […]

Telemedicine’s Value in Rural America

The net neutrality ruling could be a bitter pill for a growing healthcare trend.

The FCC voted 3-2 in December to repeal net neutrality, and the repeal is set to take effect in the spring. Neutrality rules require internet service providers (ISPs) such as Verizon and Comcast to treat all internet content and access equally. But now, ISPs will be able to increase or decrease broadband speeds for certain […]

What Type of Strategic Thinker Are You?

How do executives shape their long-term vision?

Supply chain and operations executives are increasingly involved in making supply chain strategy decisions that have long-term implications. But how do these executives, whose job responsibilities involve mainly short-term decision making, think about the long term? Researchers at MIT CTL asked this question seven years ago. The findings of their multi-method study, which involved collecting survey […]

Printing Heads: 3D Printing Launches a New Era in Aircraft Design

New technology helps engineers speed up development and remove design constraints.

Just a decade ago, the idea of 3D printing metal parts directly from a computer file seemed like science fiction to many people. But the technology is quickly growing up. There are few better examples of its promise than the GE Catalyst, a new advanced turboprop engine GE Aviation started testing in December. More than one-third of […]

The Best Way to Network in a New Job

Here's how to learn the ropes in your new organization.

Anyone who hopes to hit the ground running in a new organization must first cultivate allies – a network of people who can provide the information, resources and support needed to succeed. But few onboarding programs offer concrete advice on how to build those all-important connections. Our research during the past decade shows that replicating the […]

What Disasters Teach Us About Avoiding Mistakes at Work

How can people and artificial intelligence cooperate to achieve what neither could individually?

On the late morning of Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger took off in Cape Canaveral, Florida, only to break up midair within two minutes – and come crashing down into the Atlantic Ocean. All seven crew members were killed. The multimillion-dollar project went tragically and disastrously wrong due to an inexpensive rubber O-ring seal, […]

Whittling Away Cash Flow Woes

Capital shortfalls are a leading cause of business failure – and even profitable, rapidly growing companies are not immune.

Sourcing from overseas suppliers allows U.S. manufacturers to lower their production costs and grow their gross margins. But working capital challenges can overshadow those offshoring benefits for small and mid-sized industrial buyers. That’s something my company, Teknatool USA Inc., recently discovered when we experienced a prolonged period of rapid sales growth. We sell lathes, drill […]

What Do DC, Davos and Helsinki Have in Common?

The purpose zeitgeist is global in reach – it sits at the intersection between profit and purpose.

Think about the “purpose” of business. Is it to make money? Satisfy market demand? Give dignity to workers? Make the world a better place? The short answer is: yes. And whether it’s the boardroom of a global corporation in Washington, D.C., the shared workspace of a startup hub in Helsinki, Finland or the thin air […]

Becoming Global Citizens To Rebuild Trust in Our Globalized World

The great moral challenge is living together ethically as global citizens and celebrating the connectedness of our technological world.

The erosion of trust in a civil society is one of the greatest moral challenges in the world today. Democratic societies are anxious. Leaders – and the general public – are worried about extremism, terrorism and radicalization. Educators and experts are rightly concerned about those who perpetuate approaches that resemble indoctrination. Such threats are making us […]

The State of Play: ASEAN Economic Integration

The future of ASEAN runs through regional and global trade. Here's why.

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on progress to date on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), along with distinguished panelists from various fields during the sixth ASEAN-EU Business Summit in Singapore. ASEAN is a critical part of the world for UPS, and we believe in the work of building a […]

Business Lessons From Black Panther

As in the superhero film, corporate leaders wrestle with transforming or maintaining their company culture.

A futuristic fantasy, a high-tech spy adventure, a cultural event. That’s how millions of moviegoers and critics describe the blockbuster film, Black Panther, taking the world by storm. This action thriller pairs high-powered action with technology, innovation and transformation. The sci-fi flick about the aforementioned superhero shattered box office records, with the highest-grossing February weekend […]

Europeans Embrace Online Cross-Border Shopping

Trust, transparency and convenience are the stepping stones to e-commerce success.

The internet has reduced the world to a global village in the past few decades. Shopping has now become a global experience, enabling retailers to market and sell their products to customers anytime, anywhere.  At the same time, shoppers have equipped themselves with smartphones, 4G and various payment options like Apple Pay, PayPal and others. […]

Better than Being There

In the era of teleconferencing, how do leaders avoid getting stuck in the uncanny valley?

I used video teleconferencing for the first time in 1973. The video wasn’t very good and the audio was worse, but otherwise the design vision was pretty much the same as the systems of today – an invisible wall between two groups of people able to see and hear each other. In time, under that vision, […]

Managing Supply Chain Water Risk

The challenges of water scarcity will require businesses to expand their supply chain sustainability efforts.

In 2016, the information and communications technology (ICT) industry came under fire when environmental inspections found that 18 centralized water treatment plants in Shanghai had issues with heavy metals exceeding legal limits. As a result, the two large-scale electronics plants responsible for releasing these pollutants are now in the process of being forced to stop operations. […]