DHL: e-commerce and competition driving demand for real-time supply chain visibility
Oliver Facey, Vice President of Operations for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa has said that supply chain operators need to invest in transportation management systems to improve the quality, speed and precision of their services.
He added that these improvements will not only enhance customer experience, but also reduce operating costs and give operators a competitive advantage.
Responding to this needs, DHL Express has launched pocket-sized, all-touch computers that capitalize on the latest technology, and ensure customers benefit from increased visibility and a radically improved experience.
The TC55 scanners operate on Android and also have built-in location services and GPS navigation capabilities.
Facey said: “We operate across 51 markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, servicing over 40,000 customers; therefore delivery efficiency is key for us. As a network business, we need to ensure that our shipment data is captured accurately and in real-time.
“Our growth plans and improvements are driven by the voice of our customer, and in challenging and competitive global environments, they need us to provide accurate and real-time information to ensure that they maintain their competitive edge and speed to market.
“The new technology increases the speed at which we can process shipments at both customer locations and DHL facilities and also empowers our frontline employees with access to real-time shipment information which will assist them with workload management.
“Unlike consumer-grade counterparts, these devices have integrated data-capture capabilities, and are also built to endure the wear and tear of industrial environments.”
DHL Express has introduced 400 TC55 units in four of their largest markets in Sub-Saharan Africa: South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Mauritius; further deployment will occur in the coming months.
DHL’s customers can expect to benefit from real-time shipment visibility, enhanced electronic proof of delivery, and on-time billing.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”