FedEx Access

Using commitment, values, and thought leadership to perform while transforming.

Before FedEx, there had never been guaranteed, time-definite, express delivery.

Over four decades the company grew, connecting 98% of global GDP through multiple operating companies: Express (air), Ground, and Freight. Much of that growth was through acquisition, with each OpCo running parallel operations, including sales.  

New models of manufacturing, inventory, and distribution — from just-in-time production to e-tailing — grew out of FedEx’s innovations, although this wasn’t well understood by customers. Those new models also gave transportation and logistics greater strategic importance, moving it from a loading dock to a board room decision.    

To capitalize on the greater possibilities, FedEx had two challenges: to transform to a solutions model without disrupting speed and reliability; and to create a more unified, cross-OpCo culture that could deliver seamlessly on those portfolio solutions.

Unifying a built-by-acquisition culture.

Working with FedEx founder, chairman and CEO Fred Smith, the Purple Promise was developed and launched, along with updated enterprise-wide values. This was the first time in FedEx’s history it had a commitment and values unifying the entire enterprise.

Bold communications as well as quick integration of Purple Promise into rewards-and-recognition programs ensured its fast, almost universal adoption by 400,000+ team members around the world.

Ask anyone in a FedEx uniform and they’ll be able to tell you the Purple Promise. Or listen to almost any interview with Fred Smith, who never fails to mention the Purple Promise.

Ask anyone in a FedEx uniform and they’ll be able to tell you the Purple Promise. Or listen to almost any interview with Fred Smith, who never fails to mention the Purple Promise.

Bringing the inspiring role and relevance of FedEx into focus.

Alongside the internal commitment of Purple Promise, Unboundary designed and launched a global thought leadership platform that helped clarify for customers — and team members — the real role and relevance of FedEx. The platform – shorthanded as Access — reframed FedEx as not simply in the transportation and logistics industry, but expanding and innovating the access that connects people and possibilities.

Access was underpinned by first-of-their-kind econometric studies — which we engaged SRI to develop — that measured the economic and quality-of-life impact of improved access, country by country. This was launched by Fred Smith in Washington, DC to an audience of trade ambassadors and influencers from around the world.

FedEx team members began to see the impact of their work through Access and what it enabled.

It served as the lens through which FedEx began Corporate Social Responsibility reporting.

Equally important, it changed the conversation FedEx was able to have with its customers, providing the platform to shift from product sales to higher-value solutions. This is a model of what it means to perform while transforming.

“My team uses Access to elevate the conversation in the C-suite. It’s a key part of how we’ve taken share from UPS every single quarter for years.”

Dave Edmonds, SVP Sales
“Unboundary's given us ideas that have literally become assets to the company, and they work with us to build equity in those assets every day.”
Fred Smith
Chairman, CEO, FedEx

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