Federal W.Smith had a vision of overnight air express venture. He and his business partners commissioned two independent market research which suggested a market niche for a reliable, time-definite overnight delivery service. Then they executed the vision in 1973, establishing Federal Express. Today, approximately 90,000 Federal Express employees, at more than 1,650 sites process 1.5 million shipments daily, all of which must be tracked in a central information system, sorted in a short time at facilities in Memphis, Indianapolis, Newark, Oakland, Los Angeles, Anchorage, and Brussels, and delivered by a highly decentralised distribution network. The firm's air cargo fleet is now the world's largest. Federal Express revenues totalled $7 billion in fiscal year 1990. In 1990, Federal Express became the first winner of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in the service company category. Let us go behind the scene to find out more about the company's way of operations and the possible reasons behind the success. The company's mission is 'to provide our customers with totally reliable, competitively superior global air/ground transportation of high priority goods and documents that require rapid, time-certain delivery.' CEO Fred Smith believes in his heart that customer satisfaction is everything. He feels that 'quality' means nothing if the product they make of the service they give is not exactly what the customer wants. He makes it that the company's goal is to achieve 100 per cent completely satisfied customer, service to his standards and not the company's. This is why he comes up with the corporate philosophy of 'people, service, profit' which means putting people first in every actions, every planning process and every business decision. This attitude applies to both internal and external customers. It is only when internal customers are satisfied, then there is the higher possibility of satisfying the external customers. Behind all these need the support of the FedEx's continuously improving service strategies and matching systems which will be elaborated in the coming sections of this report. .
FedEx's INFORMATION SYSTEMS
There is a growing trend of companies conducting business on the Internet, which is by far, the world's biggest and most powerful network. FedEx is one of the early-adopters of Internet-enabled business transactions, since then, it has always been recognised as a leader in deploying useful and interactive Web applications for business users. FedEx has placed the company's core competencies - express transportation and information systems - on Internet. Its home page (http://www.fedex.com) is one of the most widely-acclaimed interactive business Web sites. Besides having information about the company, customers could also obtain package status information using the tracking feature, download free shipping software, provide feedback to FedEx, and many other services. With an aim to become one of the Internet's premier providers of electronic commerce services, FedEx has constantly search for new ways to improve their service via the Internet. In July 1996, FedEx officially launched InterNetShip - the first automated shipping transaction available on the Internet. Customers with a FedEx account can now point, click and 'ship' using any personal computer connected to the Internet and a laser printer. The process is fast and convenient. Customers simply complete the shipping information on easy-to-use formatted screen and generate a bar-coded label which can be printed from any standard laser printer. Billing information is automatically uploaded at the completion of the shipping process.
Intranet is a form of network computing which relies on common Internet protocols or core technologies such as TCP/IP and HTML that unite different systems into a unified information architecture. By using common technology and open standards, Intranet enables the...