Dozens of tools and solutions aimed at making the logistics industry more efficient and profitable appear on the market almost daily. With a seemingly endless number of possible partners, companies in this space are beginning to define and refine their core business areas. Visibility is firmly at the top of the list.

While many companies promise visibility and transparency to their partners, DHL supply chain goes even further by leveraging visibility to deliver real customer savings through a Total Logistics Cost Management (TLCM) approach.

TLCM offers a holistic approach to increasing profitability through strategic efficiency gains and cost reductions in all parts of a company’s logistics operations, including transportation and warehousing.

“We’re making a very clear statement about what those savings are, how we’re going to deliver those savings and where they’re coming from in the network,” said Jason Gillespie, senior director of continuous improvement and innovation at DHL Supply Chain North America.

DHL Supply Chain works with new customers to decipher their baseline operational statistics and identify areas for improvement. From there, DHL works with the customer to develop plans and identify savings opportunities.

“Establishing a baseline is key,” Gillespie said. “I can’t tell you if we’ve improved until I know how you’re doing today.”

DHL’s supply chain keeps customers informed from opportunity to delivery with easy-to-understand performance tracking tools. These tools allow customers to see their baselines, goals and actual performance metrics in one place, making it easy to see what’s working and what’s not. This allows DHL Supply Chain to be a true extension of the shipper’s finance team to ensure that operations are tracked to the customer’s objectives.

When a customer isn’t on track to meet their goals, DHL Supply Chain works to identify—and fix—the root cause of the problem. The logistics service provider relies on a sequential algorithm tool that enables network research to pinpoint the source of any problems and opportunities.

“We use our own Transport Network Optimizer tool. It’s the result of hundreds of years of combined experience from our collective team to develop a user-friendly tool that can quickly solve large, complex network scenarios,” said Gillespie. “It’s part of the secret recipe.”

Gillespie compared this algorithm to a metal detector. It identifies a problem and then DHL Supply Chain experts look for a solution, whether that means changing processes, getting new rates or building a fleet.

“As far as where we’re going with this, it’s down the road to a true digital twin. I see these scenarios or hypothetical models running alongside real data in the near future,” Gillespie said. “This can be the basis for the what-ifs of actual production and a no-holds-barred approach that allows for maximum optimization. We can then compare with reality and make adjustments to the network in near real time. DHL Supply Chain has already launched pilot programs for customers, and additional use cases should follow very soon.”

DHL Supply Chain has no plans to rest on its laurels. Employees throughout the company have a growth mindset that drives all operations toward continuous improvement.

“We have a list of more than 25 standard value levers that we regularly evaluate businesses against. We use that for all of our analysts and accounts to make sure we’re all looking for the same things,” Gillespie said. “We use our OMS (Operations Management System) approach, which is DHL Supply Chain’s operational model of quality and continuous improvement, to fuel new ideas and capabilities at all levels of the team. It constantly brings value and new ideas back to our core approach to deliver value to our customers.”

Click here to learn more about partnering with DHL Supply Chain.

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