Today is usually the busiest day for UPS with en estimated pick up of 34 million packages.
Tom Davenport, a long term BI and Analytics, excerpts from his new book Big Data at Work in HBR
UPS, a mere 107 years old, is perhaps the best example of an organization that has pushed analytics out to frontline processes—in its case, to delivery routing. The company is no stranger to big data, having begun tracking package movements and transactions in the 1980s. It captures information on the 16.3 million packages, on average, that it delivers daily, and it receives 39.5 million tracking requests a day. The most recent source of big data at UPS is the telematics sensors in more than 46,000 company trucks, which track metrics including speed, direction, braking, and drive train performance. The waves of incoming data not only show daily performance but also are informing a major redesign of drivers’ routes. That initiative, called ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation), is arguably the world’s largest operations research project. It relies heavily on online map data and optimization algorithms and will eventually be able to reconfigure a driver’s pickups and deliveries in real time. In 2011 it cut 85 million miles out of drivers’ routes, thereby saving more than 8.4 million gallons of fuel.
David Pogue tests ORION in this PBS Nova segment