FIDI has evolved a steady process that involves considering trends, selecting those of real value and debating their acceptance. FIDI Secretary General Jesse van Sas on the next round of change that will once again transform the organisation for the benefit of its Affiliates
Fair enough, we are a rather conservative federation, often living by traditions, taking the well-trodden path and sticking to what has worked in the past.
We are not always keen to go along with the latest trends immediately and would rather take a wait-and-see approach. That is no bad thing per se, as it protects us from failure, and shows prudence in the way we, as movers, do business. It also gives us a stable reputation as an industry one can build on – and that is worth a lot.
This does not mean movers are ignorant about meaningful change. On the contrary, our industry has shown, and is still showing, a profound interest in new technologies, in ways to do better business, in adopting new quality standards. The moving sector was one of the first international industries to create a global federation – FIDI, 71 years ago – and was the first to impose a quality standard for all its Affiliates, already 20 years ago.
With online content, social media, virtual education, industry publications at hand, we could change our companies on an almost daily basis. There are so many options, and most look interesting and rewarding.
But, thanks to our conservative nature, we tread carefully and are selective in adopting these – because the trick is to recognise the real game-changers. These don’t come along often, but you’d better not miss them or, given the competitive world we live in, it will set you back.
Your FIDI federation is no different from you. We look for the meaningful trends and changes in industry, carefully examine the consequences, take our time, decide with the greatest possible support and then we develop and deliver.
This is how success stories such as our Academy, FASI and FAIM came about. All were preceded by debate, researching, pondering, fearing as well, and finally accepting the inevitable – all for the benefit of our members and our federation. It is not about being quick on the draw, it’s about delivering.
We have another few game-changers in play today. The first is the decision of the Delegates Meeting to create new membership categories in FIDI, one for DSP companies and a second called Associate Membership, for industry suppliers.
The DSP category is a no-brainer. These firms serve the same clients we do and fit nicely into our quality concept. It will reinforce FIDI and its Affiliates at a time when traditional business lines have become blurred. The Associate Member category enables us to formalise our relationship with suppliers in an open and transparent manner.
Another major game-changer about to happen deals with an old sore in our industry: the fact that none of the move management systems we use in our operations can ‘talk’ to each other. This is because we have no uniformity of wording, processes and protocols, and as a result the movers spend too much time keying in data that should be flowing into their system automatically.
FIDI, OMNI and IAM created the Moving and Mobility Standards Alliance (MMSA) last year, which will help to define the future of our industry. The MMSA aims to specify standardised data and protocols to facilitate the exchange of data for all stakeholders involved in the global moving and mobility supply chain. We are not there yet, but watch this space for more news.
We are not always in control of the things that change our game, the way we do business. Things happen, whether we like it or not. But we can be game-changers ourselves, come up with ideas, take calculated risks, see the positives in negative feedback and put the needs of the business and industry ahead of the status quo.