Project Gemini/ZapMail

Discussion in 'FedEx Discussions' started by MrFedEx, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    I just had a flashback as to why Fredward probably couldn't afford nice new 767s back in the mid 1980s. That's because he was busy trying to pay for ZapMail, which was a system of gigantic fax machines which didn't pre-date the portable office fax machine by very much. In other words, an extremely poor decision which cost many millions.

    Here's how ZapMail worked. Whenever a "Zap" came-in, you broke route (even if it was P1), and immediately headed to get the material to be faxed. Then, you headed back to your station or some closet FedEx had rented in an office building and "Zapped" (faxed) the document. If this sounds like a cluster, it was far more than that. Then you headed back to your route and all of those late P1s.All of those ZapMail machines became either station copiers or sat gathering dust for years in some corner of the station.

    Project Gemini was the super-secret code for ZapMail.

    Our Fredward. What a dope.
  2. outtatime

    outtatime Active Member

    Not only that, but the Zap machines could not communicate with regular fax machines, which were becoming very popular, and used a different network than telephone lines which resulted in more cash outlay by the company. Even back then I'm not sure how they thought this was a good idea.
  3. 59 Dano

    59 Dano Some of my best friends are black.

    It's been, what, almost 30 years? Consult your therapist if you're not over it by now.
  4. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    I really don't know why anyone would be able or want to be able to remember such things. With all the terrible decisions X has made, the haven't killed the company...not by a long shot.
  5. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    My sister-in-law work on Zapmail development. I recall they wrote off $700 million when they scrapped it. From what she told me there was to be a machine at the front counter that customers could pay to send documents to another machine at another station where the recipient could pick it up. Never heard that couriers were involved. About the same time FedEx lost something like $110-120 million to a crooked accounting firm which wasn't sending the Fed's our payroll taxes. I'm betting they way undercut the competition for our business, and you know how cheap FedEx is. And of course wasn't long after that they stopped giving raises to topped out couriers for years.
  6. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Yeah, shill. I'm still not over getting screwed out of my pension, losing profit-sharing, and the rest of the takeaways.
  7. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Just a coincidence. Couriers were directly involved, although the counter-to-counter deal was probably part of it too. If a customer called in for a ZapMail pickup, your day was toast, and you probably weren't going to get any help.
  8. vantexan

    vantexan Well-Known Member

    Must've only been in certain test markets. I never had a Zapmail pickup.
  9. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    Probably because it was such a disaster that it got killed before it spread throughout the country. Great plan.
  10. It will be fine

    It will be fine Well-Known Member

    Which decision was worse. Zap mail or MFE choosing to come work for Express?
  11. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    If this had affected you and/or Ground you'd remember plain as day.
  12. dex 84

    dex 84 Active Member

  13. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Fred's Folly for sure.

    A little research before launching that ill-fated brainstorm could have save over $700 million. But such things happen when egos get too big to be told they're making a mistake.

    Stagnated raises and bonus for the hourlies paid for that big mess, no question.
  14. Route 66

    Route 66 Bent Member

    Fred's latest brainchild - he intends to saturate the country with one-hour photo processing kiosks and video rental stores.
  15. bbsam

    bbsam Moderator Staff Member

    Fred has made hundreds of decisions since Zapmail to keep your life a miserable, go nowhere, do nothing, pathetic existence...or was that you?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  16. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Companies face a double edged sword------they are criticized for failing to take chances and then crucified when they do and those ventures don't pan out.
  17. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    There are mistakes and then there are mi$take$.

    Management has a stroke when a courier goes 2 minutes over allotted time for checkout but a $700+ million goof that could've been easily avoided is perfectly alright.
  18. Cactus

    Cactus Just telling it like it is

    Still better than Ground.

    What are you paying your drivers now? $4.50 an hour?
  19. CJinx

    CJinx Well-Known Member

  20. MrFedEx

    MrFedEx Engorged Member

    VHS, or Beta?
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