A customer service rep working on a computer wearing a headset.

QDM stories: MyQuote

QDM stories: MyQuote

A focus on quality delivers fast service — and a win-win for FedEx and customers

When scheduled flights have unused space on the aircraft, carriers are eager to fill that space by providing deep shipping discounts on air freight. And when businesses have urgent shipping needs, they want to get the best deal possible.

Spot pricing is a way for customers to get quick quotes on last-minute international heavyweight shipments. It’s an $18 billion market, which translates into business opportunities for both FedEx and customers.

In the past, it typically took FedEx a couple of days to match customers with the freight capacity and price they wanted. A group of team members from FedEx Services and FedEx Express saw an opportunity to improve the process and increase FedEx market share of this valuable niche.

To do so, they employed Quality Driven Management (QDM) — a unique FedEx approach to quality that’s enabled thousands of teams throughout the company to improve processes, solve challenges and introduce innovative solutions.

Teamwork came first

QDM is founded on six key Principles that all come into play in any project. But it’s a flexible methodology, so sometimes one or more Principles come to the forefront.

“The ‘Quality Involves Teamwork’ Principle was at the center of MyQuote,” says a senior marketing specialist who contributed to the team. “Different functional areas from across FedEx engaged with this project from the beginning.” 

An image of the MyQuote team.

An ABLE approach to innovation

The core of QDM is the process known as ABLE, which stands for “Assess, Build, Launch, Evaluate.” The team went through ABLE multiple times to quickly design, pilot, evaluate and enhance the MyQuote process and system.

“That let us make adjustments quickly and really get bang for the buck and achieve our ultimate goal: Please the customer,” says Chris Swearingen, managing director of specialty services, FedEx Express. Together, they developed a faster process for entering customer spot quote requests and obtaining rate approvals.

The new streamlined system benefits Sales, Pricing and, most importantly, customers. “They [customers] can get a quote within an hour and get their shipment where it needs to be, when it needs to be there,” Swearingen says. The new process opens the opportunity for negotiation with customers, as opposed to delivering a single price.

“It’s an ideal option for customers looking for a rate for a specific air freight shipment,” says Mike Rude, project sponsor and now vice president of FedEx Cross Border at FedEx Logistics. “They get the best brand at a great rate — it’s a win-win for the customer and FedEx.” 

"Tried-and-true" methods for outstanding results

“It’s not every day you stand something up within six weeks. The fact that we were able to do it so quickly is a real testament to the QDM model,” Swearingen says.

MyQuote achieved a 750% increase in the total number of quotes submitted year over year, and the ability to negotiate with customers led to more acceptance — which resulted in an increase in spot quote revenue.

“This is just the beginning,” says Sriram Krishnasamy, senior vice president of global portfolio marketing, FedEx Services. “What we’ve delivered is a seed that will become an oak. I’m confident this team will be able to scale this to be a phenomenal success.”

Rude says, “QDM provides tried-and-true methods to immediately address problems and put action plans in place. Without QDM, there’s no way the velocity of the project would have been possible.”

Innovation starts with QDM

QDM methodologies can help introduce improvements that change the game for businesses of all sizes and industries.