Federal Express plans two new buildings in CO

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Federal Express isn’t done growing yet. The national shipping company plans to erect two more buildings on its 28-acre Rocky Mountain Technology Center campus on Voyager Parkway in northern Colorado Springs. The Business Journal discovered in June 1999 that the company was building its first building, a 156,000-square-foot structure in Northgate.

FedEx spokesman Ed Coleman said the company hasn’t ruled out a fall construction startup for the second building in the project’s master plan. However, he said no decisions have been made whether any new building would be approved, and no construction timetable has been established.

Those decisions will be based on how FedEx’s technology-services mission grows and whether it would consolidate employees at the site. FedEx presently employs about 600 people in the Pikes Peak region. Coleman wouldn’t estimate future local employment levels, but in 1999 the company anticipated hiring 3,000 employees.

Workers at the campus primarily will be programmers, software developers, project managers and technical staff. FedEx opened its Colorado Springs software-development center in 1978 with two employees. It’s now one of the company’s primary technical centers, second only to one at its Memphis, Tenn., headquarters.

The Rocky Mountain Technology Center will be FedEx’s foremost software-development center, focusing on critical package tracking and customs-clearance applications for international shippers. It also will head up FedEx’s new e-commerce services and supply-chain management initiatives.

E-commerce and supply-chain management will continue to be a growing facet of FedEx’s business, Coleman said. The technology will be designed to help industries use the Internet to manage their supply chains. Supply-chain management involves cooperative industry planning and more transparent data exchange so trading partners can better identify and respond to sales and supply trends.

Fast-cycle distribution is a key component of supply-chain management as industries seek to reduce the logistical and administrative costs of getting products from manufacturers and suppliers to wholesalers, retailers and on to consumers.

Using just-in-time product and material delivery and other techniques, supply-chain management seeks to produce and distribute products based on actual customer demand. The idea is to find the optimum balance between sales demand and production so companies can operate with less inventory and expense. They also can respond more quickly to demand cycles to prevent costly inventory build up when demand declines or increase inventories to meet rising demand and maximize sales.

“Air freight has an increasing role in fast-cycle distribution,” Coleman said. “And we’re a vital link in customers’ supply chains.”

FedEx’s purchase of Roadway Package Service gave the airfreight giant its FedEx Ground short-haul trucking network, which links into FedEx’s renowned small-package air-delivery and -tracking system. The ground service is second in package volume only to United Parcel Service.

FedEx invests approximately $1.5 billion annually in its software development and technology applications.

Coleman said the Rocky Mountain Technology Center’s first, three-story building’s exterior is about 60-percent complete, with interior construction about 10-percent complete. The building, designed with two wings separated by an atrium lobby, is on schedule for a planned August opening. Koll Corporate Development of Dallas is the project developer.

Last summer, FedEx opened its 109,000-square-foot Dallas Technology Center in Irving, Texas. That center focuses on scheduling and logistical software applications to manage FedEx’s aircraft and truck fleets.

FedEx also has data centers in Memphis, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Fla., and Akron and Hudson, Ohio. Data centers serve as the electronic connections between customers and the company’s global shipping system.