Speaking at the launch of DHL’s latest Innovation Center in Chicago last week, chief executive of DHL e-Commerce, Ken Allen, described the company as “innovation pioneers”.
“Alibaba, Amazon, Asos, Ebay, and Etsy, these are all our customers but to keep them we must continually innovate and keep moving forward,” said Mr. Allen.
“We need to do this to make sure we can service the needs of these big businesses and to keep them on the books as customers and to stop them becoming our competitors.”
Mr. Allen said the services and systems developed by the team would also be used to help smaller customers, noting that “anyone can be an entrepreneur and anyone a customer”.
“We are in the digital revolution, which came in the wake of globalization, which played a big role in driving growth at DHL,” he continued.
“Digitization propels e-commerce – with teenagers in bedrooms becoming entrepreneurs – driving globalization further still and creating a massive need for innovation.”
Mr. Allen said that while a robotics solution suitable for Germany may also work for Argentina, the timing may be different.
“In developing countries where labor costs are low and the workforce easy to come by, the percentage of labor costs for total business costs is obviously lower,” he said.
“So we will look to roll out robots in regions with high labor costs, and high labor shortages first, as these regions are much more immediately dependent.”