Driving the digital agenda within DHL Consulting continues to be one of my top priorities and is close to my heart. Our vision is to support Deutsche Post DHL Group promote innovative thinking and stay ahead of the curve. DHL Consulting opened its DigitaLab last week as a tangible step in that direction.
The DigitaLab is an exciting collaboration between DHL Consulting and Deutsche Post DHL Group´s IT supply organization. The idea behind the initiative is to establish a creative environment to test and showcase new and promising technologies, as well as inform employees throughout the Group about how digital solutions can lighten the load of our daily work.
Digital knowledge transfer at its best
The Lab will serve as a shared knowledge pool supporting lifelong learning, which is becoming increasingly important in times that witness technology evolution on a daily basis.
Beyond its educational function, the DigitaLab allows us to rapidly prototype, to standardize and support the implementation of (disruptive) technological solutions. This way, teams and entire divisions can make shared use of solutions with great value for logistics, instead of different parties working on similar problems at the same time and thereby creating doubled, or even redundant output.
Technology in focus
To start off, the DigitaLab will focus on four major digital technologies: Robotics Process Automation, or RPA for short, machine learning, virtual assistants, and blockchain technology. We believe these technologies will impact – and to some extend transform – the way we will do business in the future.
As in any lab, experiments are welcome. Each of the four topics is explained, but we also emphasize giving DPDHL´s employees a hands-on experience. You can program a small bot, for example, and immediately see how it works.
The following list will give you more insights on the four focus technologies featured in the lab:
- Robotic process automation – RPA shows high potential for outsourcing high volume, repetitive and standardized tasks. Actively deploying RPA where relevant will save our organization precious time which can be invested in addressing critical business challenges and coming up with creative solutions. This technology is already being used across many processes at DHL. The invoicing process is one of them.
- Blockchain – I recently dedicated one of my blog publications to this critical topic. I believe this technology is a wildcard that can drastically change the outlook of the logistics sector in the future. For us, further exploring the potential impact of Blockchain is a necessity if we want to stay ahead of the curve in this industry.
- Virtual Assistants – Most people are familiar with Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. These products have become part of our daily life. Virtual assistants will also play an equally important role in business. We will continue exploring the true potential of this technology in our lab.
- Machine Learning – Through the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning will enable our organization to leverage valuable data to anticipate and address emerging problems. If implemented properly, it will improve the speed, efficiency, and cost structure of our operations. Also volume predictions and real time visibility of all inventory will be a game changer in our industry.
This is only the beginning however. We will screen the development of these key trends as well as emerging technologies on a regular basis to make sure we stay ahead of the curve.
The recipe for success
Innovative fresh thinking will keep our teams on their toes by relentlessly challenging the status quo and coming up with better ideas to meet our business requirements. Creating an agile and collaborative spirit between the teams is the next vital part.
A natural way to start an innovation lab was to build on existing partnerships and teams that trust each other. Trust is another topic I feel very strong about. I will elaborate on it in my next article because I consider it a key enabler in collaborative leadership that fosters innovation.
We strongly believe in these engagement principles at DPDHL as they are at the core of our DigitaLab.
Leading the way
Continuously exploring new digital technologies and solutions is extremely important to our future development.
After realizing the concept of DigitaLab in Praque and Bonn, further roll-out is expected in Cyberjaya, Malaysia to cover the Asia Pacific region. I personally am very proud of the consistent deployment of these concepts, since it shows again DPDHL’s commitment to grow a global network of digital expertise. I am very much looking forward to these exciting endeavors and will keep you posted on these developments on my blog and Social Media.
Innovation labs encourage creative thinking and facilitate digital transformation efforts. For us, it is therefore a great vehicle for initiating life long learning opportunities. What’s your experience with this innovative way of working? Join the conversation and share your thoughts on my blog, my Twitter or LinkedIn accounts.