FedEx's Top Five IT Tips for Small Businesses 'Going Global'
Coming to terms with technology is crucial if smaller businesses are to succeed abroad and compete with the multinationals.
With this in mind FedEx hosted a virtual roundtable, ‘Information Generation’, where executives Raj Subramaniam and Michael Foster, and The Boston Consulting Group’s Ralf Dreischmeier, discussed the transformative impact of IT on global commerce.
A focus in the discussion was small business and the role of IT in helping entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and build their businesses abroad, successfully.
“Information technology has been a great equalizer for businesses large and small,” Foster said. “Navigating complex customs requirements or managing global inventory is now much easier for small businesses. Information technology has greatly expanded opportunities, helping small businesses to find new markets and compete on a global scale.”
Michael Foster’s five IT tips for small businesses looking to ‘go global’:
- Automate to accelerate – Automate as many shipping processes as possible, especially cross border shipments so that you can ensure that they are accurately addressed and contain the right customs paperwork for easy clearance.
- Get clear on customs – Quickly navigate complex customs requirements and gain market entry by using automated tools, such as FedEx Ship Manager, which has built in tools to ensure your customs paperwork is transmitted directly to FedEx for rapid processing.
- Small inventory, speedy delivery – Easily integrate your shipping processes with FedEx automation platforms and global transportation network to help lower your inventory carrying costs. You can then use FedEx Desktop to monitor shipments throughout their lifecycle.
- Go local - go mobile! – Leverage growth in mobile connectivity and m-commerce to quickly launch mobile apps that are configured to meet local market expectations as you expand your business across borders.
- Smart data instead of ‘big data’ – Collecting as many data points as you can to manage and monitor your supply chain is important. But don’t just collect the data, understanding the data and using it to provide visibility of key events to business partners and customers is what’s most important.
Michael Foster is the Vice President of Information Technology for FedEx Express in Europe, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa. He is responsible for developing and managing all internal and external technology for the EMEA division.
FedEx Express is the world's largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.
Mambu and the UAE’s digital banking journey
Miljan Stamenkovic enjoys the dynamic and constantly evolving world of fintech banking. In his current role as General Manager for MENA for Mambu, Stamenkovic sees opportunity in abundance.
“When I joined Mambu with my team in 2019, we came with the fintech, entrepreneurial mindset and DNA to build and grow Mambu’s business in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Before 2019, the region used to remind me of a desert, at least in terms of cloud service providers and cloud adoption. But this past year has been a wave of progress.” In November 2020, Mambu opened a new office in Abu Dhabi Global Market, as the region has quickly become a key market for Mambu.
He explains, “There are data protection laws. There are cybersecurity regulations and most importantly, a variety of major tier one cloud service providers that are available. But what particularly excites me here at Mambu is the opportunity to rethink business models together with our clients and really bring them to life. This is where I saw a great fit with Mambu and its composable philosophy.”
Creating a neobank and challenger bank ecosystem has been his ultimate goal. “In my opinion, this actually creates a unique opportunity to partner with some of the best fintechs in the region and build the region’s first and true challenger and neobanks.”
Stamenkovic credits Mambu’s partnership with Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF) for the success that has driven the bank forward in the region. “When I think about all the challenger and neobanks that have grown massively over the past decade,there is one common denominator for all these new initiatives. I would say they really operate like a tech company rather than a bank. - BSF is leading this approach in Saudi Arabia.”
He continues, “This brings a competitive advantage for tech companies. These platforms are each managed individually but can be swapped in and out. And when put together, they actually form the backbone of a company's technology capability. This is why tech companies and banks like BSF actually can get products to the market a hundred times faster than their more incumbent peers.”
The implementation, he stresses, is an evolving process, where each component is trialled and checked and swapped in and out according to its effectiveness. But it’s down to the dynamism of the team on the project to initiate these changes. “As critical as technology is to digital transformation, the DNA of people working on these initiatives is the key to success. At BSF they have a true startup and entrepreneurial mentality.”
He explains that Mambu is helping BSF deliver an entire new banking experience while providing soft core banking services hosted, in this case in Saudi Arabia. “Mambu sits at the heart of BSF's new challenger bank and its technology stack. So, this actually enables BSF to take an entirely cloud native approach, having Mambu at the centre of its ‘Digital Engine’.”
Stamenkovic points out, “Mambu enables banking like a modern tech company. Banks used to be built to last, but today they need to be built to change. And that's what we're enabling here.”