Information Technology is a Universal Language
When I was approached to be a member of the IT team to implement the new FedEx Asia Pacific hub in Guangzhou, China, I didn’t know how to react. In my 20 years at FedEx, I’ve always been involved with the IT systems that help our hubs operate. I was a member of the team that successfully implemented two expansions of the Indianapolis hub, but implementing a hub in China?
Our small core team, comprised of US and Asia Pacific IT team members was about to embark upon a mission-possible!
Were there stumbling blocks? Sure. Was there adversity? Yes. Were we frightened that we would miss our deadlines? Of course. Were we successful? Hugely! Our IT projects came in on time and under budget. I am also quite skilled at eating with chopsticks!
Of course, working across two time zones as far apart as ours was very challenging. I also had no idea how much negotiation would be necessary to install and operate computers, hand-held wireless devices, and network equipment in China.
Now, exactly three years later, I’ve grown to love the marriage between our teams and our cultures. The working phrase that our team adopted was, “We are all one family”. And as one family, we came together with great strength and conquered tasks placed before us
Being just one member, of what is now a huge family, it was such an honor to be one of the few U.S. employees to be on-site for opening night, Friday, February 6, 2009. As the first aircraft pulled into its assigned gate on our FedEx ramp, you could feel the excitement in the air. There were Chinese guests nearby, to witness this noteworthy event. By building a hub in Guangzhou, I think that FedEx has secured a place in Chinese history.
Words cannot express how glad I am to have been selected to participate in this project.