DHL invests in warehouse tech

DHL invests $300 million in warehouse tech, innovates supply chain

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Strategic adoption of robots, AI and self-driving vehicles will bring flexibility and reduced costs for omnichannel companies.

As business organizations struggle to implement omnichannel, they lean more and more on logistics providers. DHL Supply Chain is taking advantage of the trend; reportedly, it is investing $300 million in emerging technologies at 350 of its 430 North American facilities to reduce costs while adding flexibility to its services.

According to Fred Takavitz, Senior Vice President, DHL (Exel) Supply Chain, said that the tailored initiative aims to help e-commerce customers grow their business by improving visibility, increasing efficiencies, and reducing complexity. He added, “It’s about trying to remove obstacles that we see in the business and that our customers experience.”

The traditional supply chain is no longer enough

The provider of international courier, parcel, and express mail services, DHL, serves to the clients in the life sciences, healthcare, automotive and technology industries, all of which have a growing need to support rapid fulfillment with flexible options that enable consumers to pick up and return products anywhere at any time. According to them, the growth of e-commerce and its implications on service had a ‘significant impact’ on their supply chain. Moreover, many of them found that traditional supply chains simply can’t support the omnichannel experience.

With the increasing reliance and use of data, DHL is already leveraging emerging technologies in 85 of its 430 facilities in North America and has experienced productivity gains of as much as 25% while increasing throughput capacity by as much as 30%.

DHL making use of cutting-edge technologies

According to DHL, the technologies it will plan to deploy in this next round of investments will vary by location needs and the outcomes of pilot programs. They will include picking robots, artificial intelligence applications, and self-driving vehicles.

Apart from this, one notable thing the logistics provider has done is develop site technology roadmaps to identify the right use cases for specific applications. Mike Kreider, vice president of IT Americas at DHL Supply Chain, it has helped create a standard to leverage across many sites. Mike 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 implementations.”

Reportedly, the strategy has been in place at DHL since at least May 2018, when the company released MySupplyChain, a customizable platform enabling users to access track-and-trace, inventory, operational performance, and business analytics data from any device.



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