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 offer will target merchants and use Dynamics 365 Intelligent Order Management to help businesses manage the fulfillment of their orders. Businesses will be able to use the system later this year to get real-time updates on delivery status, as well as faster returns.
Dynamics 365 will integrate with customers’ existing ERP and CRM software, as well as traditional electronic data interchange (EDI) systems. It will also connect to other software, including e-commerce marketplaces and mobile apps. Customers will be able to connect the FedEx system to popular order-taking, fulfillment and delivery tools, Microsoft said, by funneling FedEx data to those systems.
This agreement comes at a time when e-commerce companies are looking to improve their order management. Some offer more precise delivery windows during the payment phase and use post-purchase software platforms that allow them to inform their customers of the delivery status via email and SMS.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the volume of deliveries, according to FedEx. the company predicted that the United States would see 100 million people every day by 2026. It will hit that figure this year, reaching 110 million, it warned. Most of this 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 shipping risk. This system used machine learning to analyze weather data and traffic disruptions and warn of potential disruptions to rush order shipments.
As FedEx strives to improve its customer service, e-commerce giant Amazon is also vying for supremacy with its logistics operation. The e-commerce giant overtook FedEx in domestic deliveries in 2020, delivering one in five packages according to Pitney Bowes.
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