Q. What one action multiplied by all UPS drivers adds up to a lot of time saved so that your packages arrive on time?
A. Whenever a UPS driver leaves his seat, he places his package car key on his pinky finger. Here's why:
In 1921, UPS began to create work methods for its drivers to ensure their safety and get packages to their destinations faster. "Those methods were first developed by Tom Barker, an engineering graduate, who was hired by UPS's founder, Jim Casey," says Steve Smith, a UPS corporate industrial engineering manager.
"These methods require the driver to place the key ring on his or her finger after unlocking the bulkhead door and retain the ignition key in hand before returning to the car," Smith says. "This frees the drivers' mind from thinking about which pocket the keys go into, and it also prevents drivers from accidentally locking the keys in the cargo area. All of our drivers are taught methods like these."
The seconds add up
When you consider that about 70,000 UPS drivers making an average of more than 200 stops per day all use this method, the saved seconds add up, explains Patrick Smith from UPS's corporate industrial engineering department. "And those saved seconds become minutes throughout the day for each driver," he says.
"Our driver work methods are constantly under review and reflect the most efficient and safest way to do the job considering changes in equipment and technology," Smith says.
The methods and standards created by UPS's industrial engineering team come from years of careful measurement and study of what's most efficient and safest for the drivers. And they obviously cover almost everything – yes, even down to the way a UPS driver puts the key on his or her pinky finger!
Your turn to comment
The next time you get out of the car, perhaps you, too, will consider this method and save some time. Do you have any efficiency techniques that save you time? Share your thoughts in our comment section.
Do you like this kind of article? Rate it! Have your own creative trick that makes all the difference? Share it by selecting "Add Comment" below this article.