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BITS/CM/HHSM ZC471 Management Information Systems Syllabus: Post Mid-Sem Portion EC-1 Assignment Part 2: Case Study: FedEx

x & IT (Max Marks: 7) Last Date: 28/10/13


Important Note:

Assignment is individual. NOT a group assignment. Copying cases will be awarded zero marks Adhere to words limit set by instructor. Do not wait for the last day to upload your document when the traffic would be peak resulting in problems in uploading and delay. Late submission of assignments will attract zero marks.

Case background in brief


FedEx Corporation, known worldwide, provides customers (individuals and businesses) with a portfolio of transportation & logistics, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of over $44 billion, the company offers solutions through operating companies competing together and managed collaboratively, under the FedEx brand. FedEx is consistently ranked among the worlds most admired and trusted employers. Its workforce consists of more than 300,000 members worldwide. The average daily volume is more than 10 million shipments for express, ground, freight, and expedited delivery services. Service area covers more than 220 countries and territories, including every address in the US. Its web site attracts over 32 million unique visitors monthly; more than 6.5 million package tracking requests daily and more than 20 million labels generated via FedEx Ship Manager monthly. Some of the recent achievements/awards are: FORTUNE Magazine: No. 10 among Worlds Most Admired Companies (2013) and 100 Best Places to Work For (2013) Reputation Institute: No. 12 among "America's Most Reputable Companies" (2013) Bloomberg BusinessWeek Magazine: No. 12 among The Civic 50 listing of Americas Most Community-Minded Companies (2012) Black Enterprise Magazine: Top 40 Best Companies for Diversity (2012) Visit the FedExs Web site to learn more about the organization with a focus on Information Technologies deployed in the organization. Also, visit FedExs partners web sites (both business partners and technology partners) to gather more information about FedEx and its collaboration activities. Read white papers, research articles on FedEx, collect information and find answers to following questions, summarize them in a document (word/pdf document) and upload the same before the deadline: 28/10/13.

Q1. What are the strategic objectives of FedEx Corporation? How IT-Strategic alignment was achieved? Explain with examples & ITs used (150 words - 1 Mark) Q2. What are the major IT initiatives undertaken in FedEx. List all initiatives and explain at least one IT initiatives, in detail (150 words 1 Mark) Q3. What are all CSR (& green) initiatives undertaken by FedEx? Explain (200 words 1 Mark) Q4. Summarize the case under following headings: (500 words - excluding list of references - 4 Marks) 1. Role of IT in FedEx Corp. 2. FedEx and its business partners 3. FedEx and its technology partners 4. Results achieved by use of IT and IT-Strategy alignment 5. Complete set of references (including web site references) ____________ Answers:

Q1. What are the strategic objectives of FedEx Corporation? How IT-Strategic alignment was achieved? Explain with examples & ITs used Answer 1: Starting from an express delivery service provider, FedEx has become a diversified company with a large portfolio of related although different businesses. Their operation is global and the company maintains regional offices in strategic locations all over the world. The strategic objectives at FedEx can be divided into the following broad categories:1. Financial - FedEx aims to grow its revenues by 10 percent annually and achieve over 10 percent operating margin. It plans to grow its core package business, increase its global reach and accelerate its supply chain capabilities. It also plans to increase the use of ecommerce and new technologies and create new alliances and services. 2. Global - To meet its goal of being socially and environmentally responsible, FedEx has introduced its EarthSmart programs. The EarthSmart Solution is designed to further streamline the operating procedures of FedEx to give better service to its employees, clients, investors and the communities where FedEx is present. Environmental sustainability objectives will be handled by its EarthSmart Work program. 3. Social - The company operates globally and serves different communities. In keeping with the company's goal to provide a superior brand of service to the clients it serves, FedEx extends its help to the communities by providing logistical and transportation support for emergency and disaster relief and has partnered with agencies like the American Red Cross, Heart to Heart and United Way International for faster response to crisis. It also provides partnership and support to other agencies such as the National Safe Kids Campaign for child safety worldwide and Junior Achievement and Adopt-A-School programs to promote education. 4. Promoting Sustainability - FedEx has instituted several measures to help sustain a greener environment by streamlining their operations. It uses packaging products made from unbleached and recycled materials and uses non-toxic inks and adhesives on its packages. It has started modernizing the company's aircraft carriers, buying bigger and more fuel-efficient planes to carry more loads to reduce number of flights. FedEx also replaced most of its delivery trucks with hybrid cars to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Its goal is to reduce the toxic emissions by 20 percent by 2020. IT contributes to strategic management in many ways. IT creates innovative applications that provide direct strategic advantage to organizations. For example, Federal Express was the first company in its industry to use IT for tracking the location of every package in its system. Next, FedEx was the first company to make this database accessible to its customers over the Internet. FedEx has gone on to provide e-fulfilment solutions based on IT and is even writing software for this purpose.

Q2. What are the major IT initiatives undertaken in FedEx. List all initiatives and explain at least one IT initiatives, in detail

Answer 2. Major IT Initiatives undertaken in FedEx :A. Use of SuperTracker hand-held computers, to record the transit of shipments through the FedEx integrated network and scan the progress of the package an average of 5 times from pick-up to delivery. B. COSMOS (Customer Operations Service Master On-line System) package tracking system that monitors every phase of the delivery cycle at Federal Express C. Command and Control (satellite to ground-level operations system), based at the Memphis SuperHub enabling FedEx to deliver packages by the fastest, safest and surest route, in any weather condition. D. FedEx launched the APEC Tariff Database, a new, Internet-based customs and trade database designed to expedite global commerce E. 46 call centres across the globe handling over 500,000 telephone calls daily. Command and Control is the satellite to ground-level operations system, based at the Memphis SuperHub, that enables FedEx to deliver packages by the fastest, safest and surest route, in any weather condition. It is a relational database that coordinates FedEx logistics worldwide. The system uses satellite and computer communications technology to monitor routing and traffic information in real time and acts as a weather management tool. When weather may disrupt on-time delivery, FedEx uses NASA weather data and artificial intelligence to plot alternative routes. The system provides the three best alternative transportation options for a shipment, which allows the company to select the fastest, safest and most cost-effective route. By connecting to over 750 customer service workstations, over 500 aircraft and traffic hubs around the world, the Command and Control system ensures the smooth coordination of inbound and outbound aircraft and thousands of delivery vehicles.

Q3. What are all CSR (& green) initiatives undertaken by FedEx? Explain CSR Initiatives: A. Philanthropy FedEx is committed to supporting the communities through strategic investment of our people, resources and network within the following stated areas:i. Disaster Readiness, Relief and Recovery ii. Pedestrian and Road Safety iii. Environmental Sustainability iv. Diversity v. Education vi. Charities B. Volunteerism A part of the FedEx culture, this passion for volunteerism extends across borders and throughout the entire organization. C. FedEx Special Delivery FedEx believes it is important to give back to the communities we serve. The FedEx Special Delivery program supports local organizations by donating transportation services and manpower to help them fulfil their missions. i. Trees for Troops ii. Operation Blessing iii. Dress for Success Green Initiatives: FedEx has instituted several measures to help sustain a greener environment by streamlining their operations. It uses packaging products made from unbleached and recycled materials and uses non-toxic inks and adhesives on its packages. It has started modernizing the company's aircraft carriers, buying bigger and more fuel-efficient planes to carry more loads to reduce number of flights. FedEx also replaced most of its delivery trucks with hybrid cars to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Its goal is to reduce the toxic emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

Q4. Summarize the case under following headings: (500 words - excluding list of references - 4 Marks) 1. Role of IT in FedEx Corp. IT plays a major role in the overall functioning of FedEx from customer service to package delivery. Some of the innovative tools and mechanisms used in FedEx are summarized below:A. IT in Customer Service FedEx uses IT to improve upon its customer service, by monitoring various aspects of a customer's transaction B. Wireless Solutions & Bluetooth for efficient package tracking and package scanning for both its business and its customers. This technology adoption offers efficiency, productivity, and increased communication between customers and the business. C. Package tracking: The implementation of wireless technology keeps customers informed about package whereabouts. This process is called package tracking which makes use of Super Tracker Technology. D. Package Scanning: FedEx Express and FedEx Ground perform the process of package scanning from pickup to delivery at every step of the shipping process. FedEx uses wireless data collection devices to scan bar codes on shipments E. Microsoft PowerPad & Bluetooth: FedEx currently uses a Bluetooth radio to send package information a data collection device for couriers called the PowerPad. The FedEx PowerPad is a Microsoft Windows-Powered Pocket PC that works by scanning a package and the PowerPad immediately uploads information such as signatures, proof of delivery, and time stamp into the FedEx network. F. Velcro Wristband: RFID FedEx adopted Velcro Wristband RFID transponders for couriers to restructure FedExs delivery process. G. Digital Pen: FedEx also uses a digital pen that incorporates a wireless transceiver and infrared camera that takes images of user writing patterns. The digital pen is a device that enables FedEx to take handwritten information and transform it into digital data in a way that is completely unobtrusive and requires no behavioural changes on the part of our customers

2. FedEx and its business partners Partner with FedEx is built on four main tenets namely a) Collaboration b) Governance c) Communication and d) Innovation. Given below are the steps required for becoming a business partner with FedEx:1. Form a corporation. FedEx only partners with businesses that have legally registered as corporations in their respective states. 2. Find a FedEx opportunity. The FedEx company website keeps an updated list of possible route openings for FedEx contractors. View the openings listed in the search results and click the "View Detail" button beside the one that interests prospective partner. 3. Get funding. The initial investment required for this business can be as much as $100,000. To finance this investment, partner may be able to go to a traditional bank. Other specialized finance firms specifically fund such ventures. 4. Stay in contact with FedEx. If FedEx sees that you have a corporation and an agreement with a lender, this will greatly increase your chances of getting a route.

3. FedEx and its technology partners 1. Cryoport, Inc. along with FedEx Corp. has launched the FedEx Deep Frozen Shipping Solution using the Cryoport Express Dry Shipper. The new offering is an innovative endto-end service for the shipping of temperature-sensitive healthcare products around the world, and is an important component of the broader FedEx HealthCare Solutions portfolio of services for customers in the life science and biopharma industries. 2. Large diesel trucks and buses release 7% of Americas greenhouse gas emissions, a third of the pollution that causes smog, and a quarter of the soot emissions that contribute to ailments like asthma and cancer. EDF along with FedEx. agreed to develop a truck that would Reduce soot emissions 90% Increase fuel efficiency 50% Offer the same functionality as a standard delivery truck Be cost competitive over the truck lifetime EDF and FedEx reviewed 20 proposals and chose Eaton Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio, to design the hybrid system. 3. The Office of Technology Transfer, housed in the FedEx Institute, invests in promising new innovations that have the potential to be breakthrough commercial products. 4. LEUCO Tool Corp with FedEx. offers an easy paperless system to return tooling systems to LEUCO for service or replacement. Apart from the above stated examples other partners of FedEx includes:

AutoZone Avaya Brother

Cisco Comcast Cable Cook Systems International Dell Dominion LaserCom EmergeMemphis FedEx HP IntelliMark MBI Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare Oak Ridge National Laboratory SMART Steelcase 4. Results achieved by use of IT and IT-Strategy alignment

IT creates innovative applications that provide direct strategic advantage to organizations. Federal Express was the first company in its industry to use IT for tracking the location of every package in its system. Next, FedEx was the first company to make this database accessible to its customers over the Internet. FedEx has gone on to provide e-fulfillment solutions based on IT and is even writing software for this purpose. Some other examples of results achieved by use of IT at FedEx are:A. Use of SuperTracker hand-held computers, to record the transit of shipments through the FedEx integrated network and scan the progress of the package an average of 5 times from pick-up to delivery. B. COSMOS (Customer Operations Service Master On-line System) package tracking system that monitors every phase of the delivery cycle. C. Command and Control (satellite to ground-level operations system), based at the Memphis SuperHub enabling FedEx to deliver packages by the fastest, safest and surest route, in any weather condition. D. FedEx launched the APEC Tariff Database, a new, Internet-based customs and trade database designed to expedite global commerce. E. 46 call centres across the globe handling over 500,000 telephone calls daily. 5. Complete set of references (including web site references)
a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. http://about.van.fedex.com/fedex-special-delivery http://about.van.fedex.com/assets/_pdf/2012_FedEx_Global_Citizenship_Goals_Progress.pdf http://about.van.fedex.com/citizenship_report http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/dl/free/0078112729/898107/Chapter02.pdf http://www.grovewell.com/pub-org-design.pdf http://www.memphis.edu/fedex/partners.php http://www.fedex.com/ma/about/overview/innovation.html http://www.fedex.com/ma/about/overview/innovation.html http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/FedEx_(FDX)/Technology