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Frederick Smith

( Founder Federal Express)

Comments for Frederick Smith
Biography Frederick Smith
Frederick Wallace Smith - personality extremely secretive. Speaking about himself, he usually brief. He was born, they say, in 1944, and again, as you see, is not dead. Perhaps, just so, and should be ideal postman: sedate, strictly bereguschim own and it is logical to assume other people's secrets. Height of perfection - this is when trusted postman letters, packets and parcels arriving at their destination very quickly, even without any outage and shrinkage. Frederick Wallace Smith, founder of Federal Express, in 1994 renamed FedEx, this is
Yuzhanin Frederick Smith was born in a wealthy family: his father was the owner of the bus line linking the city of several Southern states. As soon as Fred was four years old, his father died, and the boy's upbringing fell on the shoulders of the mother. Helped her in this two uncles Fred, his two older brothers and two older sisters. They helped so that most of the time Fred was left to himself and understand the world around unaided.

As acknowledged by Smith, to some extent, he replaced his father coach the football team and a teacher of English. And books. Most of all he liked to read about the strong personalities. Once Smith said that the greatest impression on him made the book "Death not be proud," tells about a boy who had a brain tumor.

. Huge influence on Fred's biography provided by General Lee, who knew by heart all children born in the South
. At some time even began to general Fred emulated.

After leaving school, Smith enrolled at Yale University. One of his course work was devoted to logistics in companies related to the information business. Already widely available computers, and any problems have meant huge losses for companies. But keep in stock all the parts for computers could afford very few. Therefore, Smith offered to create a system for express delivery, which would move the parts from door to door in one night. The professor praised the work for satisfactory: he considered the possibility of such a project unlikely. But Smith is not deterred. He began to think seriously about the incarnation of his idea.

But then the war started in Vietnam. In 1966, a graduate of Yale University, Lieutenant Frederick Smith, . which the age of 21 and 15 years who learned to fly a plane, . was called to active military service and sent to the aviation unit of U.S. Marines,
. Having performed for 4,5 years, 230 sorties, Smith was promoted to captain and two medals - silver and bronze stars. But this is not the main. Where is more important than the experience that Fred was on the worthless war.
Smith commanded a platoon of 18-year-olds, before the war worked in steel mills or gas stations - in a word, "blue collar". "White collar" Fred Smith has learned not only to command them, but also to understand their interests. Helped him in this veteran of the Marine Corps Sergeant Jack Jackson, who was 15 years older than Fred. Smith then wore a mustache and had the habit of smoking a cigar, thinking that he looks so dashing guy. The first thing he said to Jackson, after Fred proposed to set aside the formalities connected with the military ranks: "First of all sbrey their silly mustache and stop smoking cigars, because it looks silly. Be yourself! "Smith remembered those words.

And he had carefully studied the Army supply system, where all supplies are in forced mode, but because everything goes wrong, where to. Smith realized that this is happening because of the difference of air and ground services and the lack of a single distribution center. For example, this, what is in the banking system. In her heart - Clearing House, using the concept of hub-and-spoke (hub - sorting center, spoke - spoke). In the House, and from there go flocking vouchers. In short, after demobilization Smith knew exactly how to implement the idea of the course work.

. In the early 1970's Cargo loaded parcels of clients in the cargo hold of passenger aircraft, which carry out their flights, usually the day, in the most convenient for travel time
. As a result, goods were delivered to the recipients of the night, and customers still had to hold a. At the same time airlines have not been ground courier service, and vice versa. Smith decided, first, put the pieces together, and secondly, to deliver correspondence to the morning of the next day. That is to fly at night and only on special aircraft. It did not do one.

. Future of the company, Fred decided to call Federal Express (in 1994 it was renamed FedEx), thus emphasizing its national significance and conceptual link with the Federal Reserve, whose device he took as a model
. Smith made a business plan and turned to two consulting companies to audit it. Having their own research, both companies confirmed that the annual market volume of night express freight may exceed $ 1 billion. Inspired by Smith began looking for investors. But his calculations, few believed. Is that the sisters and brothers, and some are prone to adventures venture capital. As a result, Smith, adding its own $ 4 million, scraped together $ 80 million, although according to the business plan, was approximately $ 150 million

It was now possible to recruit. Rumors that Smith is going to create a fundamentally new airline, quickly reached Memphis, the city where he spent his childhood. In 1971, in search of work called him a man, Ted Weiss, who worked at the local airlines. Weiss was invited for an interview and very quickly realized that the romance of air travel should be forgotten. It is a hard night's work. But Weiss, also a former military man, not thinking long agreed - now he is the president of FedEx. Most of the other employees also received the first call the army school.
Then it was necessary to create a fleet, one of the key elements of the system. Smith purchased 33 French "Falcon", small passenger planes, each of which, after some modifications could carry 3 tons of cargo a distance of 3000 km. Seats were sent to the landfill, the doors are replaced by cargo hatches, the fuselage is painted bright purple and orange colors (these colors are still the corporate colors of FedEx).

. Meanwhile Smith's agents conducted a search of potential customers in 12 cities in eastern and midwestern United States
. Smith himself was negotiating with the airport in Little Rock about the possibility of establishing there a sorting hub FedEx. The city is the best fit for the organization of the first transit point: it is located in the center of the U.S.. But airport managers have decided not to communicate with a young airline that has not delivered a single parcel and that at any moment could be bankrupt. Understanding Smith found in his native Memphis, Tennessee - guide the city's airport gave him some old hangars at the edge of the airfield. Could begin.

1973 March. Pilots ready at any moment to lift up into the sky squadron of "Falcon" and carry nearly 100 tons of cargo, courier, ready to 12.00 the next day razvezti on their trucks all letters, packets and parcels, anxiously awaiting the first customers. By morning, the system came seven parcels. All were delivered in time. FedEx became the first company to start delivering mail in the morning the next day. But the 33 "Falcon" for this were not needed. Seven parcels could be successfully delivered to recipients in the trunk of car. All we had to start again.

Within a short period of service beyond the cities had been brought up to 25 (not including settlements in a radius of 40 km of them), and 17 April 1973 a system of express-delivery was started again. Managers, couriers, sorters, pilots (of 389 staff, including Mr Smith), with bated breath, waiting for data. At night the sky rose 14 "Falcon" is already with 186 parcels on board.

By year-end number of employees FedEx has more than tripled, and the amount of night traffic reached 1,000 parcels. But financial success was no question. The first two years of work the company carried a monthly loss of $ 1 million. By the beginning of 1975, the general damages FedEx reached $ 27 million and outstanding bank loans - $ 49 million. Smith's personal debt has reached $ 15 million. FBI decided to plant him in jail on charges that he allegedly forged papers to get two million bank loan. All investors, including brothers and sisters were in a panic. Wife has hinted at the possibility of divorce. Even the board of directors removed Smith from his post as executive director. In short, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy, and Smith - suicide
And then he decided on a desperate at the time step. Until 1975, cargo carriers often advertise anywhere, except professional or industry publications. Smith also began an advertising campaign in magazines for consumers and that sparked surprise television. The effect has surpassed all expectations. In February, FedEx announced its first profit - $ 20 thousand. month. By the end of the year's daily traffic volume has increased to 13 500 parcels, and the annual revenue reached $ 60 million. The company stayed afloat, but to the quality of growth was still far off.

In September 1975, Smith sent a letter to the Committee of Civil Aviation to allow FedEx to purchase five jets. The Committee rejected the petition, citing a law prohibiting civil airlines to use aircraft capacity over 3,5 tons. Rightly noted that this law was designed with the passenger airlines, and not on the shippers, Smith asked for FedEx employees to contact their representatives in Congress so that they supported the bill to deregulate the industry. But Congress did not surrender.

Then Smith wrote a letter to competitors to join forces to lobby for the bill and headed the association of carriers. More than a year, he diligently explained to the congressmen and the Carter administration the need to abolish the law compels carriers simultaneously levitate several small aircraft, instead of making the journey one big. In the end common sense prevailed: November 7, 1977, President Carter signed a bill on deregulation.

Smith immediately bought for $ 26 million. seven 727-x "Boeing" (capacity of the aircraft six times the download "Falcon"). In January 1978, converted Boeings with orange and purple graffiti went up to the sky. Company FedEx has become the largest aircraft carrier of the goods in the U.S., ahead of even such an old-timer of the postal market, as the United Parsel Service (UPS). One episode in nearly 30 years of competition, these two giants deserves special attention.

In August 1997, three weeks before the 90-year anniversary of UPS, the company's employees staged a 15-day strike. A substantial part of the postal system of the country was paralyzed. At FedEx suddenly had fallen 800 thousand. additional express items per day. Thousands of employees voluntarily worked overtime, shoveled mountains of parcels. After the strike on the market share of FedEx Express Carriers has grown by two percentage points and reached 43%. Smith ordered to pay all the characters in the two-week nightmare of bonuses and thanked them in a special 11-page letter that ended with the words "Bravo Zulu". Man uninitiated might think that by naming his loyal staff Zulus, an admirer of General Lee's just an unfortunate joke. But FedEx officials well understood Chef. The company still operates a large number of ex-servicemen. And they know perfectly well that "Bravo Zulu" - this is just a naval slang, meaning something like "worked out nicely". And no more. In short, the best pupil of Sergeant Jackson knows what to say and what to do for their subordinates. Employees are paying him and his company of the same coin.

Courier Gary Bokelman traded on the first day of the FedEx own watches for gasoline for his truck. One day, shortly after the company was the first of the airline decided to introduce such an innovation as a refund in the event of late delivery of goods to the addressee, the courier Yvette Wright at 9.00, the truck broke down. Notice to the manager about the damage, the former basketball player has become impassable parcels to the addresses indicated in the available in the truck trolley. She had to serve five blocks in Columbia, South Carolina. By 10.27 - for three minutes before the deadline for delivery of the company - she grew weak in 27 receptions 122 parcels. When FedEx first of the carriers agreed to deliver mail on Saturdays, in the sorting center of Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), a sudden power failure. It was Friday night. Center employees did not went home and sat down by candlelight to play dominoes or podkidnogo and brought courier trucks, lined them along the perimeter of the sorting area and continued to work with the headlights. Such "Zulus" really hardly ever podlozhat pig his boss.
Today, Frederick Smith is president of the holding company FDX, comprising six companies. This FedEx (express delivery of correspondence in 211 countries), . RPS (above-ground delivery of small items), . Roberts Express (ground delivery particularly urgent and fragile goods), . Viking Freight (regional express transportation), . Caliber Logistics (development of complex software solutions in the field of logistics, . including traffic management and warehouse operations).,
. Smith all the time in plain sight
. He is frequently seen on Capitol Hill. But he remains a very reserved man (incidentally, in his very rare interviews still slipping southern accent). He has 10 children from two marriages, and it is possible that there will be more. 54-year-old Smith is still full of vigor and energy. Maybe that's why he never learned to play golf, his favorite game elderly American millionaires. He prefers tennis, which takes much less time. And the savings from 3-4 hours can be spent on something that has come up with something new.

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