Latin America ended 2013 with a slower rate pf growth than expected, raising investors’ eyebrows. In a region where 99 percent of businesses are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which employ 67 percent of the region’s working population, improving those companies’ efficiency should be a priority. To help these very businesses succeed, FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp, has launched a new product – “FedEx Ship Manager Lite” – to increase the ease and efficiency for SMEs’ shipping needs.
A recent study from the World Bank says Latin America’s lower growth owes to a lack of innovation, which curbs growth and hurts competitiveness. The World Bank report sustains that the region needs to increase innovation and entrepreneurship to unveil its true potential. Among the main elements that need to be prioritized, improving logistics and infrastructure can add a competitive edge to products from the region, according to Augusto de la Torre, World Bank’s Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean.
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. brings such innovation addressing specifically small businesses transport and logistics needs with a tool that aims at speeding up the shippingprocess.“FedEx Ship Manager LiteTM is an online tool created for small and medium sizebusinesses shipping packages up to 68 kilos or approximately 150 pounds via FedEx Express®,” said Federico Del Real, senior marketing analyst in the Interactive Marketing department.
In a small operation, most employees need to wear many hats and having a user-friendly tool to dispatch goods and merchandise is instrumental in saving valuable time. “Small and medium size businesses might prepare shipments 24/7. Ship Manager Lite allows them to quickly input the delivery information in just minutes, without having to download an application or login into an account,” Del Real explained.
After accessing the FedEx website, users have the option to login to their FedEx account or opt for Ship Manager Lite, Del Real explained. On the first screen, they complete both sender and recipient addresses; then they are asked to input shipment information such as dimensions and weight. Thirdly, they define shipment date and pick up times. They are informed about shipment rates according to date and time of delivery, and shipping documents including customs documentation if necessary. Lastly, they can input their payment information through credit card options. A final confirmation screen describing the shipment can be printed for user’s records.
“This tool is different from other ways of shipping because it does not require a login or setting up an account; it is available from all sorts of devices including mobiles and tablets, and it is offered in most European and Asian languages,” Del Real shared. In Latin America, English, Spanish, Portuguese and French Caribbean can be accessed by users from 50 different countries.
The modus operandi of many small businesses in Latin America might be informal so Ship Manager Lite is a great alternative for customers who are not tied up to an office or are working from home, the senior analyst said. Packages can be shipped to 220 countries around the world or to domestic addresses.
“FedEx is ahead of the curve in offering innovative solutions for small and medium-size businesses that are constantly on the go and need to move their inventoriesfast,” De Real concluded.