Airborne Express - 1759 In a highly competitive industry...

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1759 In a highly competitive industry the structure of a firm is very important to its success. Today firms are moving away from the centralized structure of the past, and adopting a more decentralized structure (Management Challenges in the 21st Century p 315). The air express industry is no exception. FedEx, the leader in the air express industry since the late eighties, is also leading U.P.S. in the race to become decentralized. Airborne Express is not even in the race. In order to compete in today’s changing environment, Airborne Express needs to move away from its old fashioned centralized structure and form a more decentralized structure. The old fashioned structure is not the only variable that makes Airborne the follower in the air express industry. The Internet and information systems are transforming the air express market into an electronic commerce market, and Airborne needs to transform it’s operations to meet this growing market. This report describes the strengths and weakness of the organizational structure of Airborne Express. Furthermore, it also gives recommendations for future changes in Airborne Express. The first section of this report addresses how the organization of the firm evolved, and what changes are taking place structurally in its industry. The second section discusses labor issues in the air express industry and how they affect Airborne Express. The third section addresses the growing electronic commerce market and how it’s affecting the industry and Airborne Express. 1) Structure of Airborne Express During the eighties many air express companies were formed and many were destroyed. However, three companies came out of this highly competitive period on top. They were FedEx, U.P.S. and Airborne Express. Airborne survived this highly competitive period by adapting to the external forces affecting the industry. One of the external forces affecting Airborne was the size of the competition. U.P.S. and FedEx were just swallowing up competitors. So Airborne decided the best way to compete was to be the low-cost provider of air express service. Robert Cline, CEO of Airborne explains their strategy “When you are up against UPS and Federal Express, those guys are so big and so well capitalized that you have to have a tool to fight with them. It wasn’t going to be size; it wasn’t going to be how well- known we were. So, we decided to be the low-cost operator.”(Washington CEO P 33). However, to become the low cost operator Airborne had to make many structural
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Airborne Express - 1759 In a highly competitive industry...

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