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Jack Levis: The hardest step in innovation? Looking foolish in front of the crowd

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Innovation doesn’t just take a great idea. It requires persistence and a thick skin. Jack Levis led the four-year long development of ORION, a system that determines the most efficient delivery route for UPS drivers and has been called the world’s largest operation research project. At the center of a movement (and a department) that fundamentally challenges the status quo, Jack explores how we can persist – when everyone around us says, 'stop.' TED@UPS was a TED-curated event featuring a diverse group of speakers from across the UPS community. Jointly produced by TED and UPS, the event put a spotlight on ideas, projects and insights that will contribute to the importance of pushing forward through obstacles. About the TED Institute: We know that innovative ideas and fresh approaches to challenging problems can be discovered inside visionary companies around the world. The TED Institute helps surface and share these insights. Every year, TED works with a group of select companies and foundations to identify internal ideators, inventors, connectors, and creators. Drawing on the same rigorous regimen that has prepared speakers for the TED main stage, TED Institute works closely with each partner, overseeing curation and providing intensive one-on-one talk development to sharpen and fine tune ideas. Learn more at http://www.ted.com/ted-institute Follow TED Institute on Twitter @TEDPartners Subscribe to our channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TEDInstitute
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Text Comments (28)
Zo6LS7427 (3 months ago)
Fuck this guy and shove Orion up his ass where it came from. UPS are fucking stupid for wasting so much money on this bullshit system.
Robert Bowers (6 months ago)
Dont fight it, if ups wants you to run your miles up then do it. It's only costing them money.
Nino Montana (7 months ago)
Before you introduce something new, one of you CEO's should go out in the field and try it out first to see how you like it.
Nino Montana (7 months ago)
Orion Sucks. It got me going around in circles. It's the worst investment UPS ever made. Please get rid of it because it's time consuming and slows me down tremendously. How do you expect me to find a package in the 7000 section in the truck with 320 packages. EDD is the best way to navigate and accurately deliver the packages.
Trebla (7 months ago)
This guy lined his pockets selling the innovation of the future by pulling off an old fashioned con job
shahram72 (7 months ago)
OMG DELUSIONAL!!!! You CANNOT deliver packages that you cannot REACH!!! It doesn't work. A computer cannot beat a smart driver because it doesn't even have half the variables in it's system.
Mr Anonymous 1 (10 months ago)
I just made a lot more money by switching to ORION !!!
soulkeeper (1 year ago)
Just for the record.. this still dosent work..
Johnny Ordille (1 year ago)
ORION should stand for on road idiotic operational nightmare. He obviously was never a service provider because most of what he says is not true. This system often has me delivering businesses after normal business hours and tripping over multiple package bulk stops all day. I appreciate UPS and their desire to remain on the cutting edge of technology, but Orion does more harm than good in providing basic customer service.
Don Duncan (1 year ago)
I hate this charlatan more than anyone on the face of the earth. He sold (for billions of dollars I may add) UPS a load of hogwash. ORION cannot work without a perfect load. It cannot work without making the job less safe.
Juan Pablo Quezada (1 year ago)
This shows you how big corporate has so many issues...
Anthony Trent (2 years ago)
This guy is an overpaid idiot!
Peter Buchmann (2 years ago)
Thank you for a fascinating talk!
Peter Buchmann (2 years ago)
With@1:25: With 10 things to do there are actually 3'628'800 possibilities.
Alan Parsons (2 years ago)
I have been on my route for 10 years, the Orion system is so flawed yet the wool is pulled over all the share holders eyes at UPS. I wish they would invite some drivers to a speech like this and expose the problems and how it's being masked. I can beat Orion miles every single day. It has you making mostly left turns, delivering out the wrong side of the truck all day long which contributes to more hours. Our wages cost more than fuel if we worked more efficiently instead of saving 2 miles a half hour of overtime would be bigger savings but they are blinded by this system
Alan Parsons (2 years ago)
I meant speak not speech. The system could work down the road but it's no where near that at this point
TOAB17 (2 years ago)
orion is just the worst shit ever
Dwight Lollar (3 years ago)
I am a Driver. I use ORION. I can tell you that it is the largest screw up ever. The only thing that changed is we now can back our package cars up after any delivery. There was a time when a driver was reprimanded if he had 5-10 backups in a day. Now that same driver can back up 60 times just to make this fiasco work
Alan Parsons (2 years ago)
So true, we didn't need a computer system to save miles, all they had to do was tell us we can back anywhere and the miles would have dropped way down. That is all this system did to reduce miles. Smoke and mirrors
Liz Santoro (3 years ago)
Steve Carrier I agree, you are only as good as your weakest link!
BLESSED BEAUTY (3 years ago)
Steve Carrier (3 years ago)
It requires intellegent people loading package cars where the packages should actually go instead of somewhere on the shelf ! UPS will never train the pre-loaders how to properly load it for Orion system. They never insisted they load it properly for the EDD system ! The truck has to be perfectly loaded and be able to walk through it somewhat to retrieve the package where it tells you it should be on the shelf.  You can not load 4 trucks and keep it in the proper order with the speed of the conveyor belt moving packages. The percentage of loaders that can actually do this is less than 20 % along with large planned days where the trucks are jammed packed to where you can not even get to the package it wants you to find and good luck doing that ! If you had an 8 hour planned day and a perfect load it would be heaven and his system would be a company wide success ,but that will never happen. In stead keep running a broken system that everyone refuses to fix. The funny thing is the pre-loader is the cheapest paid labor and we make the highest paid worker the Driver fix what they are suppose to do in the first place everyday !
jdisco1 (2 years ago)
This is the absolute truth
Z Jiang (3 years ago)
Any easier way to transcript this video into text?
Blane Hemmert (3 years ago)
Superior talk and excellent work Jack!
shahram72 (7 months ago)
You can't solve the problem of delivering a 6000 shelf package at 10:35am in a brick loaded truck.
Luis Campos (2 years ago)
Although i agree Orion has flawed, it does work. It has saved UPS millions, and the software will continue to improve. However, the only way it will continue to improve is if EVERYBODY works on it. Not just the Orion team. The drivers, the pre-loaders, management and everyone in between. Proper data management is a vital, driver feed back is vital, a proper dispatch is vital, proper management is vital, proper truck loading is vital.
Dwight Lollar (2 years ago)
A used car salesman can give a good presentation especially when the tax refund checks are delivered. I am sure you're not a driver for UPS. If you are in corporate UPS let me know, I can 100 percent prove this system is a scam. Management does not want to speak up, just because you deeply believe in an idea doesn't mean it works.