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"We need not reinvent ourselves. We will digitalize ourselves"

As part of "Strategy 2025 – Delivering excellence in a digital world", Deutsche Post DHL Group plans to spend EUR 2 billion on the digitalization of all business units. In an interview with DPDHL Group News, CEO Frank Appel explains how the plans look in detail and what the acceleration of the digital transformation means for customers and employees.

CEO Frank Appel

Mr. Appel, why does “Strategy 2025” put so much emphasis on digitalization?

Frank Appel: Digitalization is the biggest opportunity since globalization to take logistics to the next level. Being the industry’s innovation leader, we have already established numerous highly efficient digital systems in the market over the last few years. Despite this, we believe the digital transformation of our entire industry is still in its infancy. Looking forward, we see enormous potential. Under “Strategy 2025”, we will focus on our profitable core with digitalization being the key lever to become more effective, more efficient, and to create growth opportunities. In short: We must not reinvent ourselves. We will digitalize ourselves.

What will our digitalization framework entail?

Frank Appel: We will accelerate digitalization at Deutsche Post DHL Group by following two parallel paths: The first one is modernizing our IT backbone in all business units. We will leave behind legacy applications and head towards a flexible state-of-the-art application portfolio. The second path is building so called “Centers of Excellence”. In these CoEs, teams with dedicated experts will work together across our business units to accelerate the adoption of new technologies and competencies within our organization, for example Blockchain and Internet of Things.

Could you please provide some examples of the change you envision?

Frank Appel: We are driving major digitalization programs and initiatives throughout the Group. The vast majority of our efforts – about 95 percent – goes into technology exploitation in order to optimize our core businesses – enhancing both, the customer and employee experience, as well as achieving greater operational efficiency. At DHL Express, for example, we are using Data Analytics to even better predict daily volumes for international flight trade lanes. This way we do not only increase quality, but also sell excess capacity and by this reach a new level of productivity. At DHL Supply Chain, we are deploying twelve selected automation and robotics technologies in our warehouses to standardize processes and increase efficiency. We also accelerate digitalization in corporate center functions such as HR, for instance, implementing tools for mobile learning and recruitment. All together, we are going to invest around EUR 2 billion in major digitalization programs until 2025, and we expect a yearly run rate benefit of at least EUR 1.5 billion from 2025.