Analytics aren’t everything when making sourcing decisions as a global supply chain leader.
Fed-Ex believes global companies have a responsibility to help the communities in which they operate. This can be achieved in many ways, such as hiring local companies instead of national corporations for janitorial services. It is also important to give minority companies a chance. For example, Fed-Ex contracted a veteran owned cleaning company to maintain their offices and stores in one of its core cities instead of going with the cheapest bid for the job.
Don’t just make changes for the sake of making changes.Many managers transition into companies and make quick changes to prove they’re doing something. Spence came in with a strategy. She used analytics to figure out how to make changes that would have a lasting impact on the company’s bottom line, such as streamlining the way Fed-Ex pays vendors, making it easier to track company spends. She’s also making sure that if Fed-Ex has a contract with suppliers, employees use those suppliers because of the negotiated rates.
You should know what’s most important to keeping your company functioning and make sure that you are protected against it breaking down. For example, there was a fire at the refinery where FedEx gets their airplane fuel. Yes, FedEx had reserve tanks, but it wasn’t enough. As a result, FedEx was one day away from having to ground their planes. Spence put together contingencies to make sure Fed-Ex has enough fuel to operate for weeks in case something like this ever happens again.