Apple computers and FedEx have used a number of key strategies which has resulted to the success of the two companies in the global market. Paley (1999) says that firstly apple tackled the price problem which was a major hindrance to the penetration of the company in the global market. Both Apple and FedEx broadened their distribution by using online commerce in order to reach a wide global area. According to Paley (1999) Apple computers added numerous software packages to satisfy customer demands. The third strategy that Apple used was to change its negative image by promoting its primary product attributes (Paley, 1999). The future oriented strategy was integral to the success of both Apple and FedEx.
On the other hand Terrill & Middlebrooks (2000) indicated that FedEx uses the strategy of fulfillment and delivery to ensure that their clients are satisfied. The second strategy is maintaining the customer’s inventory in its own warehouses and then employees pick and deliver them to the customers. Terrill & Middlebrooks (2000) indicated that FedEx has built a network that carries the company information about demand, factory, schedules and the availability of materials. This is its third strategy which has been very significant to the success of FedEx. Coupled with these three strategies the company strategizes on becoming a partner with its customers to become more than a delivery company (Terrill & Middlebrooks, 2000).
Discuss the outcomes of each strategy. Paley (1999) noted that the future oriented strategy enabled the companies to enter foreign markets through exporting, licensing, joint venture, wholly owned subsidiaries and management contract. In FedEx the company was able to handle delivery and fulfillment in such a way that if the customer has an e-commerce or catalog business the company will maintain the customers inventory in is own warehouses and then afterwards it delivers the inventory by ensuring that its employees pick and deliver products to customers when an order is forwarded to them (Terrill & Middlebrooks, 2000). Terrill & Middlebrooks (2000) indicated that FedEx has benefited from online commerce through their use of the internet ad systems that improve supply chain management. They continue to say that the online commerce strategy has enabled FedEx to collaborate very well with companies trying to operate lean or just in time manufacturing plants. Apple according to Paley (1999) satisfied its customer demands by adding numerous software packages.
FedEx just like Apple, has through these strategies been able to merge orders transit, hence hundreds of boxes for a customer are capable of being shipped independently as soon as they are manufactured. In this context FedEx has been able to redesign its delivery system to control shipping and pick the most economical shipping method. Apple broadened its distribution by ensuring that it reached most of its customers by adding distributors, mass merchants, system integrators and also opening dealer owned Apple centers (Paley, 1999).
Online commerce would help the company to participate and coordinate with distributors in order to create effective linkages with specific customer groups (Paley, 1999). This will in turn expand the company’s network of distribution to provide multiple routes and market segments.
Monitoring the prices will help the company to reexamine it product prices to be tailored for local markets. Delivery and order fulfillment can be adopted by ensuring that there are multiple single points of contact with service providers hence ensure that orders reach the client at the appropriate time. Custom offerings and the specific programs as those used by FedEx and Apple would ensure that there are full solutions to problems and multi-location availability of services is offered (Terrill & Middlebrooks, 2000).
Future oriented strategy which was also adopted by FedEx and Apple can be adopted by ensuring that the company incorporates innovations and more importantly move the relationship from customer point of view and from outsourcing to a fully integrated chain which revolves around customer satisfaction (Terrill & Middlebrooks, 2000). Adopting this strategy will ensure that the company moves to a competitive edge with its competitors and ensure a more wide global scope market for the company.