Alan Amling Profile

  • As VP of UPS Corporate Strategy, Amling has overseen several innovations within the logistic legend’s structure, including UPS’s growing On Demand Manufacturing Initiative which utilizes 3D printing to get customers the parts and products they need faster.

  • Veteran conference and TED Talk speaker, Amling combines his practical knowledge of emerging technologies such as 3D printing, AI, and blockchain, with his hands-on leadership experience integrating these technologies into his company’s business model.

  • With over 23 years working in logistics and supply chains, Amling offers unparalleled expertise in how you can cut costs, time, and carbon in these areas by embracing new technologies.

  • Logistics innovator, Alan Amling has been working to keep companies’ supply chains on the right side of disruption for over 23 years. As VP at UPS Ventures and UPS Corporate Strategy, Amling has been working with emerging trends, markets, and technologies to cut down on costs and carbon while bringing UPS business models into the “On-Demand Economy.”

    One of Amling’s most noteworthy developments is UPS’s growing On Demand Manufacturing Initiative which uses 3D printing, the potential of which he explored in a much-viewed TED Talk. He is also working on projects that involve AI, IoT, Blockchain, autonomous everything, platform businesses, and smart cities. His understanding of technology combined with his experience using it to reinvent aspects of logistics, distribution, and inventory management make him a valuable speaker for large businesses looking to get in the game in the Digital Age.

    Amling has held various leadership positions at UPS since 1994. He got his start at the company as a seasonal delivery driver. He holds an MBA from the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and is working on a PhD in Management and Strategy from Kennesaw State University, with a focus on disruptive innovation theory. Specifically, his research involves uncovering common processes that companies undergo once they’ve identified potential threats, and which processes or characteristics lead to more positive results.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Alan Amling is a TED speaker and thought leader on harnessing digital disruption for success.  Alan helped drive innovation over a 27-year career with UPS and is currently a Fellow at The University of Tennessee, CEO of advisory firm Thrive and Advance LLC, and on the Executive Advisory Board for the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute.  He researches, invests, advises, and speaks on innovation in manufacturing and logistics and how firms can recognize and thrive in disruption.

      Alan’s latest role at UPS was VP Corporate Strategy, where he helped revitalize UPS innovation and venture capital programs for the digital economy.  He moved into this role after serving as VP of Marketing for UPS Global Logistics & Distribution.  Alan began his UPS career in 1982 working as a seasonal employee for four years, performing a variety of jobs, including package handler and car washer. Alan rejoined UPS after graduate school in 1992 and held numerous leadership roles in industrial engineering, customer technology, and new product development.

      Alan holds a Ph.D. in Management from Kennesaw State University, an MBA from Indiana University, and a B.A. in business and psychology from Lewis & Clark College.

    Alan Amling Speaking Videos

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    Alan Amling's Speech Descriptions

    Alan Amling works with big companies to see change coming and reimagine their business models so that they can stay in the game. Amling particularly offers extensive expertise in 3D printing and the impact this and other technologies will have on logistics, the supply chain, and inventory management. Pulling from over two decades of the innovative side of business, Amling discusses how to get a feel for threats and opportunities from your customers, align your company’s inner reality with external truths, and rollout transformation that’s sustainable and relevant in the “On-demand” economy.

    Most recent keynote address have been around these topics:

    When Pigs Fly: What Happens When the Impossible Becomes Possible.
    This update of my TED Talk focuses on how the convergence of technologies underlying industries has removed longstanding structural and industry barriers, allowing entirely new business models to flourish.

    The Brave New World of On-Demand Manufacturing.
    This presentation takes a broad look at Industry 4.0 technologies and then focuses on how additive manufacturing is fundamentally changing the way products are manufactured and moved around the world.

    Thriving on Disruption.
    This presentation pulls from my doctoral dissertation (in progress) and explores how established organizations can make the leap from the industrial economy to the digital economy.

    Future You.
    This is a presentation designed for young audiences. It is an expanded version of the Commencement Address I gave at the College of North Georgia in December 2019.

    Three new presentations in development based on Alan's current work:

    Organizational Velocity: A New Playbook for the Digital Economy.
    The presentation builds off the concepts in my book of the same name with expected publication early 2021. The thesis of this talk is that the nature of competition has fundamentally changed over the last 10 years, challenging the defensive paradigms of incumbent companies. Thriving in our digital word requires Organizational Velocity; the ability to observe, accept, and act on opportunities with speed and agility. Operating with Organizational Velocity is a choice, not a circumstance. Inhibitors and enablers of Organizational Velocity will be brought to life in leader stories and first-hand accounts. The presentations ends with a step-by-step plan each audience member can use to determine the Organizational Velocity in their own company.

    Blockchain for Supply Chain: Stop Rolling Your Eyes!
    This presentation is based on my work at UPS and research at the University of Tennessee. The hype about blockchain in recent years has been deafening, but the real value of this disruptive technology is beginning to emerge. Real blockchain applications with real value will be reviewed as well as the leading indicators professionals should track that will lead to disruptive change in company supply chains.

    Trucking’s Autonomous Future.
    This presentation is based on research completed while running UPS Ventures, UPS’s corporate venture arm as well as current research at the University of Tennessee. There are about 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S. and their average age 55. Driver shortages are a perennial industry issue and autonomous technologies are about to save the day. I take the audience through a quick background on the current state of autonomous trucking, the pros and cons of various autonomous operating models and provide predictions on when each of those models will be ready to scale.

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