While DHL’s red and yellow package delivery vehicles may be a familiar sight to most people, what may be less familiar is DHL’s long-standing reputation as a supply chain leader. Now, DHL is revolutionizing the supply chain industry with their “warehouse as a service” approach. Using both in-house solutions and technology from partners like Microsoft, they’re scaling their AI-driven logistics model to more than 2,000 warehouses and 10,000 vehicles around the world and supporting business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and last-mile/direct-to-consumer logistics.Explore DHL’s story
Digital vision: Supply chain in a minute
Today’s supply chains are moving toward collecting more data about warehouse and logistics activity using digital tools and processes. DHL is taking this data-focused approach even further—developing a digital supply chain model that translates physical assets into digital information. The goal? To create a plug-and-play, fully digital warehouse that can be implemented across their global operations.
DHL is making the digitalized supply chain a reality by charting a path that advances from employing tools and processes that enable digital logistics to envisioning the digital warehouse as a service of the future. They’re using AI to find opportunities to drive even greater efficiency, moving toward a fully automated warehouse—or “supply chain in a minute”—that puts products in customers’ hands faster.
AI in action
DHL’s business naturally exists in a physical world with material-handling equipment and trucks pulling up to their gates. “There’s a lot of physical interaction,” explains Stefan Rank, Director of Global Innovation for DHL Supply Chain. “We are trying to digitize these events and understand then, from that digitized data, what can we do more efficiently.”
Here’s how AI has been helping DHL advance their warehouse operations while allowing them to become more sustainable and accelerating their ability to respond to customer demand.
From proof of concept to company-wide implementation
In scaling AI innovation across their organization, DHL anticipated the need for agility when implementing the new technology. “Books have not yet been written on what we’re doing,” offers Fekko Roelofs, Global Program Manager, Robotics Platform, at DHL Supply Chain. “That requires partners like Microsoft that are able to start thinking about where we want to move without having anything already in your hands.” By creating a strong infrastructure to take AI from proof of concept to company-wide implementation, DHL is able to put the right tools and information into the hands of those who need them.
Learning from DHL
DHL follows a structured process for scaling AI innovation in their warehouses, allowing them to roll out a solution across multiple locations and geographies, so they can benefit from their investments in AI multiple times, investing in teams for assessing trends, owning innovation, and educating their employees about new solutions.
What process will you create for scaling AI innovation in your organization?Discover more about DHL