I must share a recent and tremendous experience. The Baddour Center participated in the 2017 FedEx Services Global Supplier Conference. The event, held at the historic Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis, brought together hundreds of professionals whom worldwide serve FedEx at some point in their supply chain.
While this is probably not necessary, I remind you that we are a FedEx “supplier,” along with the many much larger, household names of corporations you might expect do business with a company like FedEx. Director of Vocational Services Kristi Webb and I represented Baddour.
At one juncture early in the conference, while FedEx CEO Fred Smith was speaking and I was a bit awe-struck, I leaned over to Kristi and whispered “What are we doing here?” As he spoke about customer experience and personal service, quality, strategy, and encouraging and managing change, I thought about how these things are every bit as important to us at Baddour as they are to a giant like FedEx. While I already know this, I admire how he so calmly and succinctly yet with unquestionable conviction “pounded” the message. In the moment, literally, I was caught between wanting to go to work for FedEx that day and heading back to Baddour to implement sweeping change before nightfall.
By the way, Kristi answered my question without hesitation, noting we earn[ed] our place here by every day providing FedEx, among our many vocational partners, a solid product at a solid price within their prescribed quality and time specifications. She further points out “the coolest part”… “we” is the residents.
The residents are the true supplier. While she and I were there at the conference, we were representing their work and pride and jobs well done. Without them doing their jobs well – and they’ve been doing great work with various FedEx-related jobs for over 30 years – we don’t retain, grow, or earn new working relationships with anyone.
I must share that later in the conference, Baddour was recognized as the featured domestic supplier and was afforded the opportunity to share about not only Vocational Services but also the Center’s entire mission and ministry. The Miracles even performed a song, representing us so well as they always do! We experienced a wonderful response and used the platform to raise greater awareness about Baddour Center and persons with intellectual disabilities. It was awesome!
Looking back, what a blessing it was to attend this conference and be inspired by some of the leaders whom spoke, and what a bigger blessing it later was to be able to share some of our blessing with many others.
We are proud of our “suppliers” and all that they accomplish each and every day in all facets of life!