FedEx is extending an existing partnership with Microsoft that will see the two companies develop an order management system that will integrate logistics data with cloud-based tools.
The logistics giant will integrate its systems with Microsoft's Dynamics 365 business management software to create the new service. The offering will target merchants and use Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management to help companies manage their order shipping. Companies will be able to use the system later this year to get real-time updates on delivery status, along with faster returns.
Dynamics 365 will integrate with customers' existing ERP and CRM software, along with traditional electronic data interchange (EDI) systems. It will also plug into other software including e-commerce marketplaces and mobile apps. Customers will be able to connect the FedEx system to the most popular order intake, fulfilment, and delivery tools, Microsoft said, channelling FedEx data into these systems.
This deal comes at a time when e-commerce companies are seeking to level up their order management. Some offer more precise delivery windows during the checkout phase and use post-purchase software platforms that enable them to update their customers with delivery status via email and SMS.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the volume of deliveries, according to FedEx. the company predicted that the US would see 100 million domestic each day by 2026. It will reach that figure this year, hitting 110 million, it warned. Most of that growth will come from e-commerce.
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The announcement follows a deal that saw FedEx launch a system called Surround in December 2020. This used Microsoft's Azure cloud to manage shipment risks. That system used machine learning to analyze weather and traffic disruption data and warn of potential shipment disruptions to time-sensitive orders.
As FedEx strives to improve its customer service, e-commerce giant Amazon is also vying for supremacy with its logistics operation. The e-ecommerce giant outpaced FedEx in domestic deliveries in 2020, delivering one in five parcels according to Pitney Bowes.
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Danny Bradbury has been a print journalist specialising in technology since 1989 and a freelance writer since 1994. He has written for national publications on both sides of the Atlantic and has won awards for his investigative cybersecurity journalism work and his arts and culture writing.
Danny writes about many different technology issues for audiences ranging from consumers through to software developers and CIOs. He also ghostwrites articles for many C-suite business executives in the technology sector and has worked as a presenter for multiple webinars and podcasts.