1. List the business processes displayed in the video.
A business process is defined by an addition of activities; step in production and tasks related to one another conducted to accomplish a specific organizational goal and produce a product or service for specific customers. Collecting: FedEx’s agents pick up packages at customers’ house and get them to a sorting center. Sorting: Packages are sorted according to theirs destination thanks to an ingenious automated system using conveyers, scanners and diverters. FedEx scan and enter the packages into a system, which will allocate them an identification number. Then packages are stored by conveyor belt. In order to optimize the sort and distribution of the packages and determining the cost of shipping, length, width, a dimensional scanner scans height and weight of the packages.
Transportation: Once the packages are placed into boxes, all of the different boxes will be be shaped in such a way that they will fit into a plane with maximum efficiency. FedEx air control center is in charge of coordinating and monitoring airplane, airports and the arrival of trucks. Another multidimensional scanner will then read the barcode which will analyze the location and destination of the packages and allocate and nudge them through paddles. In some case, a manual sorting will be required. So, a special boxe is settle so as to gather the packages from the manual sorting. Delivering: Packages are dispatching once again according to their final destination and delivered by hand by couriers.
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?
The different types of information shown in the video were:
The identification system: Using barcodes, the system assigns a unique number to each package. It enables FedEx to track every single package individually along the process. The sorting system: the scanning system ensures that each package is allocated to the appropriate destination. The shipping price: Depending on its destination and its size (weight, length, height and width) a mathematic formula calculates the shipping price . Saving space: each package is assigned to a specific location in a container. Online order processing system: a user-friendly, interactive internet interface which provides customers with options and fees available for a shipping. CRM measures: to have a feedback on customer satisfaction and measure their loyalty. Management quality approach: regarding delivery timings and state (damage or not?).
Value Management Inventory: to determine how packages are received and stored waiting to be deliver from a quality stand point. The type of information systems that was not shown in the video is the Executive Support System. The Executive Support System allows FedEx to make some useful reports, forecast performances outcomes and guarantee a better decision-making process. Indeed, analysis and statistics, thanks to data provided from the TPS and MIS, would help the company to realize reports and then assess the performance and issues. This information system can be used by executive managers better and faster access to reports like billing, cost accounting, staffing, scheduling from all FedEx levels and departments.
3. The system displayed in the video is an enterprise system. Why is this true? Explain your answer. Enterprise systems (ES) are large-scale application software packages that support business processes, information flows, reporting, and data analytics in complex organizations. In short, ES are packaged enterprise application software (PEAS) systems.
The FedEx system describes an Enterprise Resource Planning in the video, which is an enterprise system according to the definition above. Indeed, it allows the integration of data and gathers all the computers system and FedEx operation in order ease the coordination of work within the enterprise. It integrates core business processes like accounting, finance, human resources, sorting and shipment, etc. This system collects data from different functions and stores in one global center. FedEx beneficiates from a computer-based integration. – It optimizes the business processes to reach the company’s objectives by performing a safe and quick delivery process. – It concentrates all the small applications of the process into a unique one, and the process includes every step of the caring of the product.
– This allows the company to centralize the information rather than multiply it. It allows the company to follow the product’s travel. – The system uses a common database, which stores its data and supports all applications: all the parcels are scanned and registered in the FedEx database. – The company can optimize the space used in planes or trucks, thanks to made-to-measure containers. Thus the company reduces its transportation costs and enhances the delivery speed.
– It allows FedEx to optimize and control the arrivals of trucks and planes and coordinate it all once again to improve its performance. – The FedEx’s system is an integrated system that operates in real time, without relying on periodic updates: The process begins as soon as the parcels are scanned and does not stop until the packaged is delivered in the right destination: there is no dead time, and no storage period where it just waits to be taken care of. – It ensures a consistent look and feel throughout each module: the product is looked at during the whole process it follows inside the company.
4. How important is technology to FedEx’s business processes?
The systematical use of scanners to provide plenty of information very quickly in order to be more efficient and to avoid mistakes: with the measures (weight, length, height, width, etc), the scanner defines the price of the shipping that is to be paid by the customer. Another scanner sorts the packages depending on their destinations. Humans could do these last operations, but this would not be as quick as with scanners. The technology enable there to be more efficient. Technology cuts costs by replacing human’s work by machines (scanners). However, FedEx also needs workforce to manage the factory and to allocate the products in their right destination departure.
Optimizes the storage of packages in the containers: The scanners are also useful to optimize the storage of the packages in the containers. In that way, the planes are as full as possible. Each space, even small, is used. The containers are also built in order that they optimize the space in the planes. As a result, technology optimizes FedEx’s business processes. Reliable technologies are helpful to keep high quality of the services. FedEx is well known for its reliability and the quickness of the services provided (24h to send a package in the whole Europe, 1 to 2 days in the whole world). Without such reliable technologies, FedEx wouldn’t be able to keep the high quality of the services proposed by the company.
5. How could FedEx’s shipping process be made even more efficient? FedEx is one of the biggest shippers in the world. And intends to become the official air carrier of the Internet. However, some points still have to be improved by FedEx to totally dominate the market. Indeed, in many cases, FedEx is the most expensive than other firms that propose the same type of services. A solution to be more efficient would be to cut costs to be more competitive. Even if the liability, the quality and the quality of services justify FedEx’s prices and made itself is the firm that proposes the largest and the most customized panel of services, the firm may stop or less providing of those services. – USPS (United States Postal Services), one of FedEx greatest competitors, has a poorest reputation than FedEx but it is known for being the cheapest option to send packages because it proposes fewer services and does not focus on quality services (delays, complicated for customers, etc.
FedEx may worry more about customers that expect low prices and do not really care about quality services. It should establish different approaches to customers depending on their needs. – UPS (United Parcel Service), another main competitor for FedEx that is quite good at costs for another reason: it is specialized in delivering cumbersome items (less expensive) and more expensive for small items. Contrary to FedEx freights for which it is totally free, for UPS freights, items has to match specific weights, lengths, heights and widths.
UPS also have the right of exercising a control on the items and can decide to deliver it or not. Those rules enable UPS to refuse items that would be too expensive or not profitable enough to transport. In order to improve its efficiency, FedEx thus should have a look at its cost policy and should build a stronger system of rules. Last but not least, only big customers of FedEx have the access to a personalized account that enables them to make their orders easier. FedEx may extend those personalized accounts to more companies, to small businesses in order to secure their loyalty. Then FedEx could have a strong database of customers and opt for the most profitable services delivered
Maruti Suzuki Case
1.What were the businesses challenges facing Maruti Suzuki management prior to adopting the Oracle suite? Maruti Suzuki management was facing three major business challenges prior to adopting the Oracle suit. The first one was to manage business growth. Indeed they had to face the huge growth of the Indian automobile market. Also they had to maintain their leadership in the market, which was therefore a real challenge. The second challenge was related to the various activities they had to manage. Actually, Suzuki had to be at simultaneously a car manufacturer, a single source vendor (with second hand and new cars) and was also a great service provider (finance, insurance, etc.). The last challenge Maruti Suzuki was facing at that time, was to manage massive operations across the country which were necessary to adopt the Oracle suite.
2. What advantages does Maruti Suzuki derive from working with a single vendor, Oracle? There are several advantages we can point out for Maruti Suzuki working with a single vendor, Oracle. First, there is a better understanding of the situation. Indeed, with Oracle, they get to know an external point of view. Then in this new situation, we can consider that the seller masters its product. It guarantees to Maruti Suzuki a rapid and efficient implementation, which was a great challenge for the company. Also, working with a single vendor such as Oracle provides directly Suzuki with an integrated suite of tools it wouldn’t had alone. Finally a great advantage derived from working with a single vendor is a gigantic cut in transaction costs. 3. What were the important business factors which management used to evaluate Oracle’s database offerings?
Management wanted systems that were simple to use in order to make it accessible to a large part of managers and decision makers. Its simplicity saves a considerable amount of time. Oracle’s database also had to require little training, so new executive people can be operational rapidly. As Maruti Suzuki has been developing rapidly when it adopted the Oracle system. Thus management wanted it to be able to be scaled up as the company grew and diversified. Maruti Suzuki also expected to control processes in order to have better turnaround times. The ultimate point Maruti Suzuki management attached importance to is the legacy system: Oracle had to integrate with an already existing legacy system.
4. Why was it important that a vendor’s product be able to integrate with “legacy systems”? Legacy systems are the older databases and computerized files that all large companies developed in the past. Thus they are very important to store those data to maintain a liable follow-up of information. Abandoning existing legacy systems would also disturb or radically change the business processes and lead to a loss of efficiency and to incomprehension. Legacy systems are difficult to abandon because a great deal has been invested in building them over the years; they “work” after a fashion; and use outmoded technologies requiring skills are difficult to find on the market. Moreover, replacing legacy systems is usually too expensive and a dramatic expenditure of time. Finally, “Middle ware” is software that makes it possible: it is in the “middle” between legacy and new systems.
5. What are the business benefits reported by management to using the Oracle suite of products? Oracle suite brought different benefits to Maruti Suzuki.Using the Oracle suite enables standardization of data and information across the firm and thus makes them more rapidly accessible and easier to use. Consequently, the Oracle suite enables standardization of business practices. Using the different types software Oracle proposes can be beneficial because data are then immediately online and accessible in real time. The Oracle suite thus avoided the need for batch processing and allow complete drawbacks of use of data. Oracle Enterprise Performance sensibly reduced turnaround time in producing consolidated accounts (from one week to 24 hours). The Oracle HR made management more flexible and thus management of HR more efficient. Last but not least, it strengthened financial and management controls over a very diverse and geographically distributed company.