Short-Term and Long-Term Decisions for Present and
Future Strategies and Business Opportunities
IT plays a predominant role in the day to day operations and management at FedEx who are always seeking ways and means to integrate and leverage IT in strategic planning. Robert B. Carter of FedEx states that “IT takes a very prominent place at the strategic business discussion level within the corporation in a way that allows funding, focus and initiative to flow” . The company has taken a very aggressive and visionary approach towards including IT as part of all its change management strategies. Going as far back as its founder, Fred Smith’s declaration that a package and package information were equally important, FedEx has a history of pioneering break through IT adaptation including: a) being the first to use COSMOS, its worldwide package tracing system which was the first of its kind in the world, b) first to use barcode labelling, and c) first to introduce online ordering and tracking.
Today, FedEx continues to focus on innovation and technological advancement which form a key feature of its mission, strategy and values . Leveraging IT in order to achieve short term as well as long term business objectives will be necessary and it would appear that the company if well aware of this fact. FedEx extends the scope of technological competence to every aspect of its business in order to maximize efficiency. This is evidenced by the fact that the company retired over 24 aircraft from its delivery fleet to be replaced by newer, more technologically advanced carriers with the aim of boosting operational efficiency . Considering that FedEx has to maintain a repute of always being on time which has been the driving force behind its success, technologically upgrading of its fleet will provide tangible short term and long term business gains.
With the use of the internet and other forms of technology gaining usage in developing countries, especially in the APAC region, FedEx has the opportunity to expand its reach in these markets by tapping into growing local online retail as well as international express package delivery. IT will play a major role in facilitating this expansion and allowing FedEx to increase its market shares and revenues in the short term and building a larger market share in the long term. However, it should be noted that the increasing utilization of e-mail and other technologically advanced forms of communication may reduce the scope of overnight or express document deliveries not only in these markets, but the global market as well. Once again, FedEx seems to be one step ahead and will be focusing on developing its other group companies such as FedEx freight, home delivery and online retail solutions . The company will, once again, be leveraging IT to maximize the potential of these businesses in order to maintain short term business growth forecasts as well as achieve stability in the long term by reducing the risk of the loss of business verticals.
Constantly adapting its strategies in order to face external challenges translates into a continuous need to manage change within the company itself. FedEx maintains a synergy between its suppliers, employees and partners by leveraging IT for effortless flow if information and ease in transitions and technological adoption. Considering that innovation and IT are part of the company’s DNA, IT is a major source of empowerment for people to drive change at every level, relying on technology to deliver on short term goals and long term strategies.
FedEx, 2012. FedEx Annual Report 2012, Memphis: FedEx Corporation.
FedEx, 2012. Mission, Strategy, Values. [Online]
Available at: http://about.van.fedex.com/mission-strategy-values
[Accessed 11 october 2012].
Gordon, M., 2001. Change Management at FedEx. [Online]
Available at: http://www.cio.com/article/30233/Change_Management_at_FedEx
[Accessed 11 October 2012].