UPS Honored with the 2020 INFORMS Prize for Longstanding Contributions in the fields of Operations Research and Analytics


Ashley Smith
Public Affairs Coordinator

UPS Honored with the 2020 INFORMS Prize for Longstanding Contributions in the fields of Operations Research and Analytics

CATONSVILLE, MD, May 27, 2020 – INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals, has awarded UPS with the 2020 INFORMS Prize for sustained and enduring institutional achievement. UPS is the first company in the history of the prize to win twice; it previously won this prize in 2003. 

The INFORMS Prize honors effective integration of O.R. and analytics into organizational decision making and is awarded to organizations that have repeatedly applied the principles of O.R. in lasting ways.  

An ardent longtime practitioner of this profession, UPS was one of the first companies to embrace operations research and advanced analytics. These technologies have played a major role in UPS’ ascent to becoming a $78 billion leader of the global supply chain. The contributions of UPS’ advanced analytics team have gone beyond the mere implementation of existing O.R. technology, to developing original research that has moved to the frontiers of the discipline. Powered by more than 200 professionals, O.R. is a significant source of competitive advantage for UPS. 

Reflecting on the longstanding role of advanced analytics in UPS’ technology arsenal, UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer Juan Perez likes to quote former CEO George Smith, who said “without operations research we would be analyzing our problems intuitively only, and we would miss many opportunities to get maximum efficiency out of our operation.” Perez emphasizes, “it was true then, it is even truer today.”

Of the many systems that UPS has developed to increase its operational efficiency, its ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) system, is the best known and most widely recognized among O.R. professionals. Optimizing delivery routes for distance, fuel, and time, ORION guides UPS’ 60,000 plus drivers in their daily tasks and is estimated to deliver annual savings of up to $400 million. UPS has continued to enhance its ORION platform by adding new capabilities. 

Speaking on behalf of the selection committee, Dr. Sanjay Saigal, 2020 INFORMS Prize committee chair, remarked: “UPS has made significant contributions to operations research and analytics for decades, and their impact has been widely noted and recognized. UPS is truly deserving of this prestigious prize, and the entire O.R. and analytics community joins INFORMS in thanking them for all they have done and continue to do.”

“We are honored to accept the INFORMS Prize and continue to hold steadfast on the vital importance of operations research and analytics across disciplines to help save lives, save money, and solve problems,” said Ranganath Nuggehalli, principal scientist at UPS.

In addition to UPS, past recipients include Booz Allen Hamilton, BNSF Railway, Walt Disney Company, U.S. Air Force, General Motors, Intel, HP, IBM, Ford, Procter & Gamble, and GE Research.

For more information on the INFORMS Prize, click here.



With more than 12,000 members from around the world, INFORMS is the largest international association of operations research (O.R.) and analytics professionals and students. INFORMS provides unique networking and learning opportunities for individuals and organizations to better understand and use O.R. and analytics tools and methods to save lives, save money, and solve problems. 





Ashley Smith