60 seconds with Andrew Chang, UPS

Modern spends 60 seconds with the director of corporate marketing for the industrial manufacturing and automotive segment of UPS talking about the economy and manufacturing.

By ·

Andrew Chang, UPS
Title: Director of corporate marketing for the industrial manufacturing and automotive segment of UPS
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Experience: 10 years in corporate marketing
Duties: Responsible for creating and executing strategies related to industrial manufacturing and automotive segments.

Modern: Since you ship finished goods, UPS has a unique view of the economy. Looking forward, where are we and where are we going?
Chang: Because UPS moves approximately 6% of the U.S. GDP and 2% of the world’s GDP through our network, we see a number of trends. The short-term outlook is not where we want it to be. That’s mostly because of the uncertainty in the global economy. Global exports have always been at a higher rate than the GDP. We’re now seeing export growth lower than the GDP because of the slowdown in China. As GDP growth begins to climb up, we will see that trend go up to normal. We also believe the free trade agreements that were recently signed with South Korea, Panama and Colombia are going to make our imports and exports easier, which will make products made in America easier to sell and transport. Those are positive developments.

Modern: Commentators talk about uncertainty a lot lately. What does that term mean at UPS?
Chang: We look at broad macro economic indicators, like everyone else. The Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) has been below 50 for the last three months. That is an important indicator. There are also mixed numbers from unemployment and housing starts that are not where we want them to be.

Modern: Service providers like UPS enable manufacturing trends such as lean manufacturing. Are those initiatives alive and well in this economy?
Chang: They are. If you think about how lean manufacturing started, it’s to drive improvements in the supply chain. You’ll never see an end to that. One of the biggest trends we are seeing is that companies are looking for technology and strategies to reduce their inventory carrying costs. There are supply chain software solutions that can predict demand and provide more granular visibility into inventory. They are also looking to partners, like UPS, to take inventory off of their balance sheet until they use a part or component. We see a lot of opportunity for growth there.

Modern: We hear a lot about near-shoring. Are your manufacturing customers bringing some of their operations back to North America?
Chang: There is definitely a trend of manufacturers building production centers nearer to the consumers they serve. That’s happening on a global basis, and it’s happening in North America. One consulting firm, for instance, found that 61% of respondents were considering a move to better match the location of where they do their manufacturing with demand. Automotive manufacturers like KIA and Hyundai are definitely doing that with their plants in Georgia and Alabama. But we also see companies like Caterpillar building new plants in Texas and Georgia. With oil prices hovering in the mid-90s per barrel and rising wages in China, it makes a lot more economic sense to do that.


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

60 Seconds With · Economy · October 2012 · UPS · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Sorting Out Your Sortation Options
Guiding you through the process of evaluating and selecting the right “mission-critical” sortation solution
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
How does a fastgrowing, e-commerce startup company build out order fulfillment capabilities? Thrive Market answered that question with its new facility in Indiana.
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
Putaway 101: Everything in its Place
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ProMat closes: Make your plans for Modex 2018
With a record number of exhibitors and attendees seen at ProMat 2017, MHI anticipates more of the...
Keynote: Magic is the result of over-preparation and over-delivering to customers
During his keynote presentation Wednesday afternoon, Earvin “Magic” Johnson told a packed...

Keynote panel confirms digital supply chain shift seen in new MHI study
Wednesday’s keynote panelists agreed it is time to embrace the shift to digital supply chains seen...
MHI to honor original products, solutions with 5th-annual Innovation Awards
On Wednesday, during MHI Industry Night with Dana Carvey, the winners of the 5th-annual MHI...