Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Innovation, characteristic of a global mindset

As I write, I am waiting for the UPS man in his brown truck to show up soon. I am looking forward to receiving a package of new software that I ordered a few days ago. Using the UPS tracking site, I know everywhere my package has been on its long trip from California.

Sometimes we think of innovation in terms of breakthrough designs like Apple’s iPod and iPhone. But some of the best business innovations involve seeing new ways to serve customers with resources that are already there. While we need a global perspective to scout the world for new ideas, sometimes the best solutions may be right under our noses.

Consider the case of UPS. They used to rely on human engineering rather than employing extensive technology. In the old scheme of things, it cost $2 per call to track packages using an 800 number. In December 2006, they handled 130 million package tracking requests online at a cost of 1 cent each! UPS zeroed in on a basic capability of the Web - the ability to track packages from sender to receiver online. Their innovation allows them to provide better service at a much lower cost. The value added for the customer is that a scheduled delivery can be intercepted and re-routed if the customer so desires. Plus, the customer knows exactly where the package is during the delivery process.

Who exactly figured out the new system at UPS? I don’t know. But my guess is that it came from an individual or team that was thinking “outside of the box”, one of the characteristics of using a “global mindset”.

Keogh & Associates Consulting , LLC has many services to help your company compete by developing a global mindset.

No comments: