In an attempt to increase the efficiency of the UPS (United Parcel Service), the company previously focused its new technology efforts on its employees and shippers. However, its focus has shifted; this time, the company’s newest service is focusing on recipients. In fact, these changes could, in all possibility, reshape what we expect from UPS.
This new offering by UPS is called UPS My Choice, and if it lives up to the company’s hype by actually delivering what it promises, it could propel the company outpacing rivals such as FedEx. So how good will this new service be, and how will it work?
First, UPS’ new offering is promising a two-hour slot, chosen by the customer, during which time the package will be delivered. Second, this service is said to allow the customer an option to provide additional instructions to the driver, such as where to leave the package. For example, customers can instruct the driver to leave the package with a neighbor, by a back door, or even a specific UPS store for pickup at a later time. This would be an extremely handy option for those who work during the day and may need to pick up a package containing anything from medicines to electronics during their lunch hour. It may even be more convenient for those who are close enough to a UPS store to pick up the package before or after work, thus eliminating any worry about having an item stolen from their front entry.
To take advantage of this new tracking system, UPS is offering customers two options with which to track their packages and to provide instructions for delivery. First, a customer can use the Internet to track and request delivery options. Second, if the customer does not have access to the Internet, UPS provides free applications for mobile devices. In fact, I downloaded and installed the UPS application for Android and, after setting up an account with UPS, I was ready to track and provide directions for my first UPS package.
However, what I soon learned was that some of the features are only available if a yearly fee is paid. It is true that, using my Google Android application, I could track my package and obtain an estimate of an approximate delivery time and delivery alerts. However, the other features are not free. This means that, if you wish to take advantage of these newly introduced, premium services, you are going to need to pay the UPS Premium service fee charge of $40 a year. These services include, as I previously described, ensuring delivery within a two-hour window or being able to have a package delivered to a specific location or at a UPS store. Over one and a half million customers have signed up for the UPS My Choice program since it started.
Given the cost, the program is not for me since I do not receive enough packages to warrant paying a premium fee. In addition, we are already aware that our deliveries are normally between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. since we are usually at the end of the driver’s route. If we are not home, the driver leaves the package on the front porch of our residence and, since we live in a relatively crime-free area, this is just fine with us. It is also an advantage to us that we know our neighbors and we keep an active eye out for each other. One last note is that our porch is large enough that neither rain, snow, nor other elements will damage the packages. However, I am also aware that these conditions may be limited to smaller suburban areas, whereas large cities, apartment buildings, and more crime-ridden areas may not be as blessed. So what about you? Will you be taking advantage of the premium UPS My Choice program?
Source: Information Week
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by loop_oh