Publications

- February 1, 2018: Vol. 30, Number 2

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In real time: The value of data and new transparency expectations

by John D'Angelo

In 1994, FedEx Corp. pioneered a method of real-time data sharing by making package-tracking information widely available. Today we can hardly imagine a world without access to tracking information: Of course you can see the status of the package you are expecting, where it is and when you can expect to receive it. Not having ready access to package-tracking data is like other hallmarks of a forgotten, but not distant, era before voice messages, email, MP3 music files and smart phones; many people entering the workforce today have never lived in a world lacking such transparency. For FedEx’s leadership team in the early 1990s, however, making data about packages widely available to consumers was not an easy decision. Although access had been granted to commercial accounts, there was much internal debate about how providing this access to consumers would impact service call volume. Would people take the time to research the information newly available to them? Wou

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