DPDHL Group: promotes ecommerce in developing countries
In an announcement made by Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) Group and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development the two organisations will invest in providing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries with access to global markets
Over the course of the next few years, the two organisations have set ambitions to invest US$35.4mn into the digitalisation of customs and trade processes; the promotion of ecommerce; and low emissions logistics in cities. The primary focus will be Africa.
As COVID-19 reduces trade relations in developing countries, and placing an additional 115mn people into poverty, both DPDHL Group and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development stress the importance of keeping global economic cycles running, as well as ensuring that the poor benefit.
“The corona crisis and the lockdown have disrupted supply chains in developing countries. Millions of companies are fighting for survival. Right now we have to keep economic cycles going. But bureaucratic customs procedures and corruption are hampering intra-African trade. This is where we work together with Deutsche Post DHL Group: With a new digital system, we are helping medium-sized African companies to handle customs completely digitally. We are starting in Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. We are also creating new sales markets worldwide via new e-commerce platforms. All this accelerates trade, creates transparency and enables enormous leaps in development. We place particular emphasis on training and the promotion of women as entrepreneurs. And we are deliberately focusing on digitization. Nowhere is digitization progressing faster than in Africa. Some African countries are already further ahead than Europe - for example, in cashless payment via smartphone,” commented Gerd Müller, Federal Minister.
The two organisations have stated plans to tackle trade barriers with the use of digital solutions first in Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Such trade barriers include bureaucratic, non-transparent customs procedures, which make it difficult to access world trade.
The partnership will primarily be implemented via the develoPPP.de program, which promotes entrepreneurial initiatives in developing and emerging countries that contribute to sustainable development.
"Cross border trade creates prosperity, improves lives and connects people - but in many regions there are still major hurdles. Together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development we are working decisively on removing those hurdles. Merchants who previously sold their goods regionally get access to customers around the world. For this purpose we also started our new sustainability program GoTrade. The program engages especially in developing countries which have not yet benefited from globalization as much as others," added Frank Appel, CEO, Deutsche Post DHL Group
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”