UPS, American Airlines Execs Share Success Keys with Miami Executive MBA for the Americas Class
August 29, 2014
|Pictured (left to right): Art Torno, senior vice president of Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America at American Airlines and alumnus Jose Acosta (BBA, ’81) vice president of Latin American operations and public affairs at UPS.|
The School hosted Art Torno, senior vice president of Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America at American Airlines and alumnus Jose Acosta (BBA, ’81) vice president of Latin American operations and public affairs at UPS.
Torno kicked off the morning session with performance highlights for the “New American Airlines,” which acquired US Airways and emerged from bankruptcy in 2013. The merged airline now offers 6,700 flights a day to 339 destinations in 54 countries. Three hundred-forty nine of those flights originate in Miami.
“Miami is considered the gateway of Latin America and the Caribbean and the city plays an important role as a central hub for global companies doing business in Latin America—and for Latin American companies doing business in the United States,” said Torno.
Torno listed several global companies with Latin American division headquarters including ExxonMobil, HBO Latin America, UPS, Oracle Latin America, IBM, Federal Express, Hewlett-Packard, Merrill Lynch and Yahoo Latin America. Latin American companies with headquarters in Miami include Banco do Brasil, Citgo Petroleum, and LAN Airlines.
For his part, Acosta focused on UPS as a $55 billion technology company with trucks—the largest transportation company in the world with over 400,000 employees that shipped and tracked 4.3 billion packages to more than 220 countries and territories in 2013. The key to success is efficiency.
“Our drivers are trained to take right hand turns because it’s more efficient and safer for pedestrians,” Acosta explained. “Our drivers wear their key rings on their pinkie so they don’t have to think about which pocket the key goes into. There are no clickers on the drivers’ pens so they don’t waste time clicking. All of these inefficiencies have been engineered out of the job.”
Students in the new 17-month MBA program will hear from leading executives each time they come to campus, mostly on weekends every two months.
Both Torno and Acosta focused on systems and analytics as keys to success in business. But there’s an entirely different skill set executives doing business in Latin America—or with Latin Americans working stateside—need to master: relationship-building.
“Doing business in Latin America is a completely different animal. You have to deal with issues like political influence, change of power, change of ideology, natural disasters—and be nimble,” Torno said. “And relationships are key. There has to be confidence and trust between people. You have to make friends.”