Strategic Planning at United Parcel Services Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Answer: 1

Scenario planning is a way of making strategic plans for a company. However, UPS has been doing scenario planning for a long period. It is the beliefof UPS to keep itselfready for new challenges.By this it is considered that they are moving ahead of others in the industry.

The strengths and weakness of scenario planning are as follows:


When UPS is looking for challenges in the environment, it is a great help to test one-self in putting into different scenarios. UPS is doing this for years and has developed itself to be competent enough to face the challenges in the environment. Ups has also made great developments in the process of making scenarios and has developed a team to counter those scenarios.

Scenario planning helps in making a forecast of the happening that can affect the smooth working of the company or which can cause company to face losses or declined profit margin. This makes an important analysis of the company that how stable it is and what are the capabilities of the company are in a crunch situation.

When dealing with a scenario, the outcomes of a scenario are more than the analysis of a competitive structure. When a company analyzes a situation it is actually just having an over view of the situation, which concludes less information. However, when a company is dealing with a scenario, it is actually making itself well informed of the situation and how to deal with it, which is why the outcomes of a scenario planning is more than an analysis.

When a company is dealing with different scenarios it is making itself creative and it become sable to find new alternative solutions of a scenario. The brain storming sessions develop the management creative and innovative.

When a company is in a real life environment it faces many challenges. Some challenges are common challenges faced by the industry and some are the ones, which are specially created for a particular company or a person. The benefit of scenario planning is that the company will be in a position to encounter the biased actions taken by the environment and the competitors.


Itis a common thing to say that everything has a good and a bad effect on something. Scenario planning can also have some good and bad aspects. Scenario planning can also affect the company financially as it is a cost incurring measure, which helps in the long run if the company is going in the right direction. Even if the company is going in the wrong direction, it will only lose some amount from its pocket but its conclusion can be of millions.

The process of scenario planning is slow as it starts from the scratch to the top. Making a scenario based on the future and its impacts and developments is time consuming. After the scenario is planned, it is also important to look at it from different perspectives to get innovative and creative ideas. Therefore,the process is extremely time-consuming.

Scenario planning can sometimes be far from being real. The marketing department of UPS felt that the concept is far from being real. The scenario planning is based on the threats in the future that are likely to affect the company but it can be quite unrealistic sometimes.

Question 2:

What is your evaluation of UPS’s scenario planning exercise?

Answer 2:

In the late 90’s, UPS adopted the concept of scenario planning to which they based their strategic planning. As it was the beginning of a new era of thoughts, scenario planning was considered to be helpful for the company’s future.

The idea behind the scenario planning process to adopt was to stay as a leader in the industry as the company is almost 90 years old and is still in existence as a leader. To stay a leader, it is very important to identify your threats from the environment and your competitors. A leader has to face new challenges in a developing industry and sometimes to face such challenges one has to make big changes and to make such changes, it is imperative to be ready to accept change.

Scenario planning exercise is very well designed by the UPS and the objective is very clear that is to be the best. Scenario planning exercise is designed in a way that first the employees are given the needed information and training. This helps the employees to work in the right direction. When the employees are well informed of the situation, they are able to contribute more towards the betterment....................

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