Fedex Case

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Information Systems

How FedEx Works : Enterprise Systems

1. List the business processes displayed in the video.

A business process is a procedure that systematizes the organization and company policy in order to achieve some of the goals of the company. A procedure is a series of tasks to be imposed. A procedure generally meets the requirements that are not to be discussed by the operator who apply them. Thus it is a set of activities that are edited in chronological order to achieve a goal, usually deliver a product of service, in a context of a labor organization.

In our case, the organization goal is to ship millions of packages to hundreds of countries every single day. To differentiate itself from its competitors, FedEx created state-of-the-art technology for customers to track and validate shipments. Shipments are virtually traceable from their origin to their destination all with the convenience of the personal computer. One of the reasons of its success is due to the design and the coordination of its processes.

We have identified 11 business processes in the video:
Picking up of the packages
Making FedEx aware of the beginning of the operation
Transporting the packages to the nearest hub
Sorting the packages
Evaluating the cost of shipping
Sorting the packages in terms of destinations
Weighing the containers and putting the appropriated containers in the airplane.
Controlling the flights
Sorting the packages
Delivering the package to the person himself
Making FedEx aware of the end of the operation

2. List the types of information systems shown in the video. Can you describe how systems that were not shown might be used at FedEx?

There are several types of information systems:

Transaction Processing Systems: automate the handling of data about business activities or transactions, which can be thought of as simple, discrete events in the life of an organization.

Management Information Systems: provide information which is needed to manage organizations efficiently and effectively, they are used to analyze operational activities in the organization.1

Decision Support Systems: support business or organizational decision-making activities, serve the management, operations, and planning levels of an organization and help to make decisions.1

Executive Information Systems: facilitate and support the information and decision-making needs of senior executives by providing easy access to both internal and external information relevant to meeting the strategic goals of the organization.1

Knowledge Management Systems: manage knowledge in organizations for supporting creation, capture, storage and dissemination of information.1

In the video, we can see FedEx using a few Transaction Processing Systems. For instance, when a courier picks up a parcel and scans it, this act alone is a transaction; and so are the various other processes each parcel has to go through, like being scanned by the multi-directional scanner, or weighted by the scale.

We can also witness the use of Management Information Systems at Newark, NJ. Agents are constantly checking the status of trucks and planes, the delays, the weather, etc. and are able to react accordingly and in real-time. This constant monitoring allows FedEx to make operational decisions quickly and efficiently. These systems feed on the data provided by the Transaction Processing Systems used by the company.

Although it is not show in the video, FedEx probably uses Decision Support Systems to ponder whether or not to open new routes or close loss-making ones for instance. These systems allow FedEx to create what-if scenarios, that is to compute what would happen if the company were to, say, concentrates its activities on the United States and discards its global operations. These are likely used before adding new countries to its destinations.

Executive Information Systems...
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