DHL: logistics transition to a new normal (COVID-19)
Within the white paper, DHL provides several strategies and actions for organisations to set up supply chains of the future.
Alongside Richard Wilding, professor of Supply Chain Strategy at Cranfield University in the U.K., DHL has envisioned the possible changes in supply chains following the COVID-19 pandemic.
"With the easing of restrictions and the unfreezing of the economy in many regions of the world, it is time to establish a first retrospective summary on the resilience of global supply chains," said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer, DHL, and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation.
"For us as logistics experts, it is important to analyze the challenges and experiences across industries during this crisis and to envision how resilient supply chains can be in the future so that we may best advise our customers. As a world leader in logistics, we have the insights and the expertise to accurately evaluate the situation."
DHL further details within the paper that looking ahead, industries and supply chains will not be the same post COVID-19. However, currently only the outlines of what the new normal will look like can be seen. In the interim, the pre-new normal will bridge the gap between lockdown and the new normal. For supply chains the potential challenges include: resilience issues, demand related issues, transportation and warehousing related issues and workplace related issues.
"The photographs and TV images were stark. Long before countries went into lockdown, their supermarket shelves were stripped bare. Pasta, toilet paper, rice, painkillers, canned tomatoes, flour - all gone. Factories and distribution have a delayed reaction to extreme fluctuations in demand. In the end, fear of lockdown-induced supply chain disruption was no longer the trigger. People were panic-buying because other people were panic-buying," commented Richard Wilding, professor of Supply Chain Strategy at Cranfield University.
"As in every crisis, the strengths but also the weaknesses of the system become visible. To become better, it is important to learn from such emergency situations. In the new normal, if your supply chain is the same as the one that you had pre-coronavirus, you're probably doing something wrong."
In the interim, DHL sees supply chains experiencing a reconfiguration in order to drive resilience such as more distributed manufacturing, storage, dual sourcing, reshoring, and near-shoring. As well as “instead of focusing solely on tier 1 suppliers, supply chain leaders will have to take a closer look at tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers as well to check if they are able to keep up with the flow of goods.”
In addition, demand is expected to be more volatile, with the potential for consumer tastes to erratically fluctuate. Which as a result will increase the need for flexible and alternative transportation and networks. Workplaces will also need to meet social distancing and sanitation guidelines which DHL sees affecting both warehouse and offices. “Information systems will need to be robust and capable of supporting a distributed workforce by providing access to appropriate data and systems,” while warehouse processes will need to be adapted to one-way systems, distributed picking faces, or socially distanced packing areas.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.