The rise of omnichannel is driving a tech-powered revolution in logistics, supply relationship management, and transparency – and German logistics giant DHL is leading the charge, Supply Chain Dive reports.
Logistics providers have come under pressure from clients struggling to implement omnichannel. DHL services a multitude of clients, especially in the automotive, technology, life sciences, and healthcare industries. Most (65%) report that the rise of e-commerce has impacted their supply chains as they strive to meet new rapid fulfilment requirements that allow consumers to collect and return products from anywhere, at any time.
The quest is on to find solutions that deliver faster delivery times and handle fluctuating demand more efficiently. Many of the companies are seeking procurement as a service and other partners to help them leverage data more effectively. But, they are also starting to use more strategic facility locations and emerging technologies, such as collaborative robots to support greater efficiencies, while maintaining their core procurement functions, such as strategic sourcing, opportunity assessment, and category management.
DHL Supply Chain is responding to the new demands by investing $300 million in emerging technologies at 350 of its 430 facilities in North America in a bid to achieve new cost reductions and enhance the flexibility of its services. The aim is to help e-commerce clients grow their businesses by delivering better visibility and increased efficiencies while minimising complexity. The company is avoiding a ‘one size fits all’ approach, tailoring its deployment of new technologies to location needs and the findings of pilot studies. The new initiatives will include picking robots, self-driving vehicles and a range of artificial intelligence initiatives. It has developed new site technology roadmaps to pinpoint right case uses for specific applications. Mike Kreider, VP of IT Americas at DHL Supply Chain, said: “We’re standardizing our IT Platforms and the system integration to these new technologies, so that we can lower the costs and facilitate rapid implementation.”