MGT/330-Management: Theory, Practice, and Application
The only constant in the high-velocity world of express shipping is change. FedEx and its competitors wage an unrelenting battle to offer customers more delivery options, at lower cost, with greater convenience and reliability. The boom in e-business, home shopping networks, and mail-order catalogs for manufacturing has created exciting new opportunities for FedEx. No longer just an overnight package shipper, FedEx is a full-service logistics provider, planning the flow of goods and information between customers, retailers, and suppliers. Fueling the company's growth and success has been the development of strategic information systems that enable FedEx to provide better-quality service to its customers. The FedEx Information Technology Division (ITD) supports all computer-based functions of the company, including all customer computer use, such as ordering FedEx services and tracking delivery status. Sharon Sirrell, a senior development support analyst, is a certified facilitator of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People training, used extensively within ITD. "Technology is constantly evolving, and we must be able to deliver the latest technology that will improve the efficiency of our delivery services. The 7 Habits training gives our people greater capacity to deal with rapid change and to be proactive in harnessing technological advances.", Sirrell, who started out as a volunteer facilitator within ITD in 1993 teaching the 7 Habits once a quarter, says benefits of the training extend to improved communication among individuals and interdependent teams, as well as strengthened human relationships. The 7 Habits are: be proactive, begin with the end in mind, put things first, think win-win, seek first to understand, then to be understood, synergize, and sharpen the saw. Sirrell's training sentiments are echoed in other areas of the company, such as the Leadership Institute, an in-house educational "university" for management. Its mission supports the FedEx philosophy of "People-Service-Profit." In other words, as FedEx cares for and provides resources for its people, they in turn deliver the flawless service that customers demand, which then produces profits that are reinvested in the people. Anyone who enters a FedEx management position attends the Leadership Institute. The Institute challenges leaders to think critically and deeply about issues that don't have easy answers, specifically as they relate to leading people. Globalization has had an impact on Fed-Ex's management functions. Globalization and international trade are two issues that have played a large role in the management functions. There are more organizations relying on the service that FedEx provides. Management has had to reorganize their planning strategies due the changes in the manufacturing of high tech and high volume goods that companies requires their expertise in logistics. The growth of international businesses since 1993 has affected the growth of FedEx at an annual rate of about 15 percent (Palvia,1993), during the same period the value of FedEx export has increased over 300 percent gain of 22 percent per year. This has provided nearly 166,000 employees in the United States and has generated revenues of $18 billion in a fiscal year. "Air transportation now serves as the circulatory system of the global economy, carrying products and services to market places around the world."(The FedEx Impact on U.S. and Global Economies, 1999) Since globalization planning has evolved in the international market, it has had an impact on business and employee relations with other cultures. For example, the color yellow on a computer graphics screen may be viewed in a negative way in some countries in the Far East. Management should include people with culture expertise in the planning stages of a different geographical site. FedEx has implemented a Survey Feedback Act to find out what employees' needs are. This is something that is not accepted in the Far East because they do not criticize employers and supervisors. In the other parts of the world like Europe, they already have National Labor Laws that automatically protects employees. As businesses become more competitive in the global marketplace, information and technology have become increasingly important. Over the years, the FedEx name has become synonymous with a tradition of automation, customer service and technological leadership. Since the company pioneered tracking and routing technologies in the early nineteen eighties, FedEx has developed one of the largest integrated telecommunications and information systems in the world. FedEx provides two services to its customers: the physical transportation and distribution of packages and the information systems that identify the location of a package at any time. As the leader in the express transportation industry, FedEx was the first to install computers in vans, provide sophisticated automation in the mailroom and develop tracking capabilities and software. The company operates one of the world's largest client/server networks. Customers have come to depend on the reliability and high rate of efficiency of these systems. They look to FedEx for new developments to support their ever-changing business needs. To surpass customer expectations of value, FedEx is committed to developing products and technologies that help customers improve and build their own businesses through expanded on-line services.
Palvia, P. (1993). Journal of Global Information Management., Vol. 1, Iss. 1. Retrieved Oct 23, 2005, from http://proquest.umi.com. About FedEx. (1999). Retrieved Oct. 23, 2005, from http://www.fedex.com. Bateman, T. S., & Snell, S. (2004). Management: The New Competitive Landscape. : The McGraw-Hill Companies.