FedEx now employees 215,838 staff around the world.
FedEx provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. We offer integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 290,000 employees and contractors to remain absolutely, positively focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities (FedEx.com, n.d.).
Growth of this magnitude has required tremendous change.
FedEx will produce superior financial returns for shareowners by providing high value-added supply chain, transportation, business and related information services through focused operating companies. Customer requirements will be met in the highest quality manner appropriate to each market segment served. FedEx will strive to develop mutually rewarding relationships with its employees, partners and suppliers. Safety will be the first consideration in all operations. Corporate activities will be conducted to the highest ethical and professional standards.
The unique FedEx operating strategy works seamlessly - and simultaneously - on three levels.
Compete collectively by standing as one brand worldwide and speaking with one voice.
Operate independently by focusing on our independent networks to meet distinct customer needs.
Manage collaboratively by working together to sustain loyal relationships with our workforce, customers and investors.
People: We value our people and promote diversity in our workplace and in our thinking.
Service: Our absolutely, positively spirit puts our customers at the heart of everything we do.
Innovation: We invent and inspire the services and technologies that improve the way we work and live.
Integrity: We manage our operations, finances and services with honesty, efficiency and reliability.
Responsibility: We champion safe and healthy environments for the communities in which we live and work.
Loyalty: We earn the respect and confidence of our FedEx people, customers and investors every day, in everything we do.
CEO Fred Smith believes that, "Information about the package is as important as the package itself” and has always viewed IT as the core element of his company’s business formula (Gordon, 2001).
In 1981, the company inaugurated the use of bar code labeling in ground transportation
In 1984, FedEx rolled out a PC-based automated shipping system
In 1994, the FedEx website, www.fedex.com, became the first to let customers track their packages on the Internet.
In 1996, that capability was extended, allowing customers to create shipping labels and order courier pickups.
This emphasis on IT innovation has gained FedEx a 30 percent share in the highly competitive business to consumer express delivery market, according to Chris Newton, a senior analyst of supply chain strategies for AMR Research in Boston (Gordon, 2001).
3 Possible Change Models with IT Innovation FedEx Could have Chosen
Technology Driven Change- Technology-driven change management frequently involves initiatives that are dependent on interwoven technical processes. The interconnections are rarely fully understood from the outset and the man-machine interfaces often prove difficult (Holti, 1996)
The stakeholder model requires that all of the parties affected by management decisions, in addition to the shareholders themselves, management, employees, customers, suppliers, communities in which the company operates and the environment from local to global, all must be considered as fairly and justly as possible (Kay, n.d.) .
The Satir Change Model focuses not just on systems or technology but on individual people.
The Satir Change Model describes the major stages of a change; transition between stages; effects of each stage on feelings, thinking, performance and physiology; and helpful and harmful interventions during each stage, making it a robust model which explains the success of FedEx; a service industry that uses technology to cater to customer needs (Gordon, 2001).
The Satir model fits highly technical organizations well.
Late Status Quo
Staff are familiar with the FedEx organizational team and understand that company success is dependent on IT for survival and success
They know what is expected of them
If something fails, they know they might have to pick up the pace.
Group confronts a foreign idea (new hand held device and technology changes)
Threatens familiar power structures. When change is to be implemented, resistance is natural, however, overcoming resistance requires that “people…open up, become aware, and overcome the reaction, to deny, avoid or blame” (Smith, 2009).
Members resist and question validity of new device. After being educated on device realize that it is a good product
After accepting new device there is a lot of unknown
This stage is required as a means of processing, problem solving, re-framing, and acceptance and buy-on for change initiatives
Old behaviors may not be possible
Transforming element that can show how the device can benefit them (speed up their day)
Increases value in the marketplace. FedEx communicates the value of change to their employees through their “bottom line;” as the bottom line is affected by consumer behavior, the company communicates hat the “initiator of change is [their] customer” (Gordon, 2001, p. 3).
“ The most significant recent change at FedEx was a massive reorganization announced Jan. 19, 2000. The company consolidated four of its five operating subsidiaries under the FedEx brand name and moved most of its IT, sales and marketing staff into a new company, FedEx Corporate. At the same time, FedEx realigned the relationships of these companies to one another, aiming to provide customers with a single point of access to sales, customer service, billing and automation systems” (CIO.com, 2001).
FedEx has managed resistance to change by communicating with their staff. One way of increasing communication as well as exploiting the internal expertise of FedEx employees worldwide, was the implementation and use of “FXTV” which connected the company members as a whole system through live broadcasts to employees around the world (Gordon, 2001, pp. 1-2).
FedEx also uses IP multicast technology to pipe programming through their intranet into IP-TV viewers that staff have at their desktops" (CIO.com, 2001).
James Ketner, manager of the General Motors Service Parts Operation plant in Lansing, Mich., sums up the customer’s perspective succinctly: "The more responsive a vendor is, the more chance we have to do business with them. FedEx has been very responsive." Ketner has been working with FedEx to improve the shipment of small automotive parts from his facility to dealers worldwide. "We had needs," he says, "and we approached FedEx for opportunities to solve them. They have been very willing to work closely to blend their systems expertise with ours." FedEx’s IT improvements have cascaded down the supply chain. "In today’s environment, there is ongoing pressure to be responsive to customer needs while maintaining cost-effectiveness," Ketner says. "Partners like FedEx who can translate their expertise into IT solutions create that opportunity. It has allowed us to serve the customer and eliminate waste from our system" CIO.com, 2001).
FedEx has continually managed change to its advantage by maintaining its core and “essential” mission, while at the same time, remaining innovative; exploiting their competitive edge to achieve “value-added services,” and also seeing the package movement as a continual way to build value and utility through its customer (Gordon, 2001, pp. 1-4).
Establishing communication practices that enable people to be informed, provide feedback, ask questions and develop a re-framing of the change situation so that they understand the overall benefit to the system in a company and individual sense as well as how they will develop the competency and expertise in using these systems will continue to allow FedEx staff to move through the frequent changes required to provide value-added products and services to customers.