Matters like route optimization might seem like a small item on the surface, but in a company with UPS’s scale--more than 454,000 employees, more than 100,000 delivery vehicles and a fleet of more than 500 airplane worldwide delivering up to 34 million packages in the U.S. during its peak period last year—even small efficiency gains can have a very real bottom-line impact, Perez said.

“We are detail-oriented,” Perez said. “Think about these numbers: If we save 1 mile per driver per day—across all of our drivers in the U.S.—in the course of a year, UPS can save $50 million. If we can save one minute in our drivers’ day that is non-value-added for our customer or for us as a company, we can save—across all drivers the course of a year--$14.6 million. If we can reduce one minute of idle time, we can reduce $515,000 in a year.

“Details matter. So, as you develop your data strategy and your IoT strategy, ensure that you remain detail-oriented.”

This mindset has altered the way UPS operates, Perez said.

“UPS has changed significantly in the last several years,” Perez said. “In fact, we’re no longer a small-package delivery company alone. Yes, we’re definitely the largest package-delivery company in the world, but we’re also a logistics company. We’re also an insurance company. We provide all kinds of freight transportation across multiple modes. And we continue to gather data on all aspects of our business and keep generating insights that can help UPS run better. So, today, we’re a very different company than we were many years ago.

“The journey to get here has been difficult. We were a paper-based company only a few years back … Today, I would make the argument that UPS is truly a technology company that happens to be in the logistics business. We deliver packages, but we are a technology company.”