Fred Smith of FEDEX Corp built up his business by identifying a need – the need of Companies for timely delivery of important documents. He invested large amounts of capital in building up an expensive transportation network, because of his belief that a strong market existed among businesses for overnight delivery of time sensitive documents. A centralized computer system existed which kept track of all packages delivered and this was known as COSMOS (Customer Operation, Service Master Online System). A bar code was placed on every package at the pick up point and scanned at every stage of the delivery process. Fred Smith realized early on that the Internet would play a significant part in revolutionizing the logistics of the transportation industry. The centralized database system was improved by introducing various pioneering features, such as handing out PCs with FEDEX software for tracking of packages, hand held signature devices that delivery agents could use to record signatures and a website that contained information on package delivery status. Using EDI and the Internet, FEDEX also worked backwards along the supply chain and provided management services at several points along it, where different services could be provided. for example, transportation, inventory control, purchasing, etc. 3. In the achievement of its goals, FEDEX has capitalized the vision of its founder, Smith who believed the success of the Company lay in IT(Lappin, 1996) and has implemented IT systems that are geared towards strengthening its e-commerce operations. The realization that information systems could play a vital role in ensuring the success of business has enabled the Company to survive and gain a head start in package delivery (www.garyclarke.com).
Structural Transformation through Ebusiness