Global parcel logistics and transportation provider UPS made a rather significant organizational announcement this week, one that Supply Chain Matters views as portending significant future changes for “Brown.”

UPS has appointed Scott A. Price, currently Executive Vice President, Global Leverage at Walmart International, into the newly created role of Chief Transformation Officer. According to the announcement, Price will join the UPS Management Committee and report directly to UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney. The appointment becomes effective on December 11 and Price will be based at the provider’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta.

Anytime a company the size of UPS brings in an executive outsider to lead a corporate transformation, significant change is a very probable. Add the fact that one of the corporate legacies of UPS has been anchored in leveraging innovation with advanced technology applied to logistics and last-mile delivery, and the implications of this announcement should peak the interest of multi-industry supply chains. UPS itself has always prided itself in nurturing leadership from within its own ranks and with an outsider being appointed to lead in corporate transformation implies a conscious decision on the part of the firm’s senior leadership team.

Mr. Price’s credentials appear extensive spanning executive leadership roles at Walmart, DHL Express and Coca-Cola. Within the specific area of parcel transportation, Price has had prior leadership roles as CEO of DHL Express Europe, CEO of DHL Express Asia Pacific, and President of DHL Japan. His background is further deeply anchored in international assignments and organizational culture.

The announcement notes that Price has been credited with: restructuring operations, driving significant acquisitions, and leading expansive growth in past assignment.” Such words are usually written to context the required skills needed for this new role.

Price has been charged with: “… driving and facilitating organizational change that will help UPS to both identify and execute opportunities for profitable growth within its existing business units and yet-untapped markets and product segments.” Further noted: “The company is establishing this role to accelerate its transformation by identifying strategies to prioritize resources and direct investment for the greatest strategic benefit and long-term shareholder return.”

As a social media voice in supply chain management, Supply Chain Matters has at-times, been critical of UPS’s efforts in promoting profitability at the expense of increasingly higher annual parcel shipping rates and surcharges and in riding the wave of online commerce volume. We are therefore intrigued with this announcement and trust that this will lead to a more comprehensive effort to address growth from a broader or services perspective including new business growth areas. An area to watch is whether UPS elects to leverage advanced technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence or blockchain applied to new logistics or business service business areas such as product and equipment maintenance. The ongoing integration of online platform with integrated logistics capabilities that Amazon and Alibaba continue to demonstrate is another area to watch.

We have reached out to UPS to seek further information related to this announcement and will share further information if received.

Bob Ferrari

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