FedEx many other successful company, FedEx started out

FedEx or Federal Express Corporation is
a logistics servicing company recognised as one of the most admired brand in
the world and the best placed to work. However like many other successful
company, FedEx started out as an idea champion by the determined mind of Frederick
W. Smith, whilst in University. On April 17, 1973 FedEx officially began
operations with a team of 389 members and 14 small aircrafts headquartered in
Memphis Tennessee, USA. Though the company did show any signs of financial
growth until July 1975, it became the carrier of choice for high priority goods
and their business standards became benchmarks for the express shipping
industry. FedEx global outreach has continued to expand tremendously,
delivering to customers in more than 220 countries. According to FedEx 2017
annual report revenue generated was USD$60 Billion. They currently have a staff
compliment of 400,000 and assets of over 650 aircrafts, motorized fleet of over
150,000.00 and several acquired business entities.

According Foster (2013) there are many
different perception about quality management. However he defined quality as a
measure of goodness that is inherent to a product or services (p.27). He further postulated that having multiple
definition/dimensions for quality can cause miscommunication across functional
teams and as result affects the smooth flow of the strategic plan. Hence it is
imperative that companies develop a common language for quality. His predecessor Dr. Joseph
Juran (1904-2008) the founding father of the concept called quality trilogy
(Planning, controlling and improvement) defines quality as all the activities
in which a business engages in to ensure that products meet the customers need.

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Quality  for FedEx means getting the job done to meet customer
expectation, by setting goals of 100% customer satisfaction, 100% on time
deliveries, and 100% accurate information available on every shipment to every
location around the world (Foster, 2013). These goals held at high standards by
the FedEx Management team, lead to the integration of the Quality Improvement
Process (QIP) in all of their business activities. With this systematic
approach to analysing performance practices and implementing efforts to improve
gaps (QIP), philosophical themes such as ‘Do it right the first time”, Make the
first time you do it the only time anyone has to” etc Foster (2013); became an
important part of the company’s culture. To maintain these themes, the company
teaches its employees the 1-10-100 rule. According to this rule if a problem is
caught and fixed as soon as it occurs, it cost a certain amount of time and
money to correct it.

Another philosophy used by FedEx is the
“People-Service-Profit which guides Management policies and actions. They have
implemented quality action teams (QAT) to continuously improve its quality.
QATs designs work processes to support new products and services offering. A
set of services quality indicators (SQI) was established to determine the main
areas of customers’ perception of their services. So therefore no matter how
good the quality is at FedEx they always wants to do more for their customs.
These quality standards practice by FedEx has paid off, the company was awarded
the Malcolm Baldridge Award, the AT top Performer Award, the Quality
Carrier of the Year Award and the Company of the year Distinguished Service
Foster (2013).

S. Thomas Foster in his book Managing
Quality –Integrating the Supply Chain (5th edition) has identify
that they are several perspectives on quality, such as Operations, Strategic, Marketing,
Financial, HR perspective, and the Systems perspective etc. and all which are
based on the functional roles we play within the organization, and in achieving
quality we must see the whole as a sum of different parts uniting to achieve an
end (p. 32).  Based on Foster’s theoretical
view on quality and having read the case, it is evident that in maintaining its
dominance in the industry; FedEx has paid keen attention to the different
perspectives of quality and has implemented strategies in order to achieve

The Operation Perspective is the first
functional field of management to adopt quality by focusing on products and
process design according to Foster (2013). In order to be efficient and
effective within this global world, FedEx capitalised on technology, for
example its digitally assisted dispatch system (DADS) is used to communicate
with over 30,000 couriers, this system enable quick response to pickup and
delivery dispatches, in addition to effective time and route management. Other
tactics that have been used to ensure quality within the operations of the
company was the launch of an airliner from Portland, Oregon bound for Memphis
to pick up packages, as a contingency to the regularly scheduled airplanes, in addition
to other cost cutting strategies.

Strategic Perspective speaks to the planning
processes used by an organization to achieve its long term goals. In order to achieve
quality companies should ensure that their strategic processes are consistent
and logical; areas such as Supply chain, Finance, Marketing, and Human Resource
should to be on integrated in the process.   FedEx’s Quality Assurance Team (QATS)
strategy was to ensure the work processes were coherent and supported their new
products and services.

Marketing Perspective: at FedEx as
outlined in the case they implemented the Quality Improvement Process (QIP)
programme as measure of its total commitment to quality. Its mantra of 100%
customer service satisfaction, 100% on time delivery and 100% accurate
information to every shipment is a great example of this serious commitment.
FedEx has also created Quality Action Teams (QAT) to further enhance its
quality programmes. By establishing service quality indicators they are able to
ascertain external customer’s level of satisfaction.

Financial Perspective: the goal of Finance
is to maximise return on investment for a given level of risk. Total Quality
Management is one of the strategies used by FedEx to increase Return on
Investment (ROI) by investing in its employee and systems to ensure that
defects are reduced and customers are satisfied. Philosophy such as getting it
right the first time in their business process results in improvement in the
company’s efficiency and profitability. The leadership team has instilled this
in employees which have become the culture of the organization. The 1-10-100
rule has also save FedEx a great deal.

Human Resource
Perspective: It is often said that an organization’s greatest assets is its
Human Resources. This concept was evidently integrated in the total quality
management of FedEx.  In an effort to provide the level of service and quality necessary to remain
the leader in the industry; FedEx has developed a unique relationship with its
employees, based on a people-first corporate philosophy (FedEx.Com). Founder
and CEO Frederick Smith believed that the placing an emphasis on the practice
of “people are placed first,” will result in possible higher service and then
profit will follow. Hence FedEx corporate philosophy: People-Service-Profit. This
people priority approach acknowledges the importance of employee satisfaction which
helps to foster an environment where employees feel secure enough to take risks
and become innovative in pursuing quality, service and customer satisfaction. There
are many processes in place at Federal Express to ensure that P-S-P becomes a
way of life for all employees. Over the years FedEx, through this
initiative has instituted training programmes, competitive wages, benefits,
profit sharing, bonuses, a transparent grievance process and a excellent
employee recognition scheme for its top performing employees.

In concluding, FedEx has integrated the theory
of total quality management in all its business process. This has benefitted
the company greatly, in growth, increased profitability and market share. They
are the current leader within the industry and have received several awards for
its commitment to quality management. FedEx is highly regarded as one of the
top organizations to work for prospective job seekers. Their continued commitments
to quality both to internal and external customers have rewarded them greatly in
terms of profitable in the past and the foreseeable future. A culture of quality
at FedEx has resulted in motivated employees, loyal and satisfied customers. Their
model of quality management should be used as a benchmark for other
organizations within the industry.