Business & Finance
Commentary
1/9/2004
06:12 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Editor's Note: Transformations That Really Matter

Never have I appreciated a comment that FedEx CIO Rob Carter made at a recent InformationWeek conference more than this Christmas. When asked to describe the company's business, he responded, "We're in the business of engineering time."

It was a day and a half before Christmas and I still hadn't found the one gift that my oldest daughter wanted most. I'll spare you the details, but it was a rather obscure doll she had once seen that came from someplace, somewhere. Knowing those little details, of course, might have made it easier to find it. But no luck. Then, much to my surprise, her grandmother stumbled upon the toy while shopping in a small store in the small town where she lives. Fabulous, I thought. But with so little time, how was she going to get that doll to my house hundreds of miles away? Thank you, FedEx!

Of course, this is the kind of thing FedEx does every day. But it's the many other things it does that reveal just how significantly FedEx has transformed the package-delivery industry, providing crucial links in supply chains, logistics services, customs-clearance services, and, its latest foray, outsourced document management and other services through a $2.4 billion acquisition of Kinko's. You can learn more about how the company plans to continue to innovate through business technology on p. 34. And stay tuned--we'll bring you many more stories of these kinds of industry transformers in future issues.

Speaking of transformation, we continue to find fascinating examples of how RFID technology is affecting supply chains. Lest you think this technology is just for packages, crates, or products on store shelves, how about on cows' ears? For anyone who still thinks RFID is overhyped, we've got the beef for you on p. 18.

Stephanie Stahl
Editor
sstahl@cmp.com


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.