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BERLIN - 03 Jun 2009: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that DHL Worldwide, the market leader in the global air and ground express industry, is using IBM analytics software to help transform its global business operations and drive customer relationship profitability at its DHL Express Germany and DHL Call Forwarding North America divisions. The new intelligence system from IBM allows DHL to analyze more than 30 million customer records in just seconds vs. hours while drastically reducing its system maintenance costs.
DHL Express Germany’s core business is courier and express services for private and business customers. Each year, the company sends more than 1.5 million consignments -- from letters to 2.5 ton pallets -- to over 120,000 destinations worldwide.
Prior to the implementation of IBM analytics software, DHL Express Germany was unable to share critical sales and operations data because of competing systems within its divisions. Integrating these separate tools required extensive manual and administrative effort. Management needed a single system that could handle the company’s entire value creation chain in a more flexible way, function automatically, and was easy to use.
Using IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, DHL Express Germany can now tap into multiple sources of information via a single platform to get a complete view of the company operations in an instance. This provides DHL Express Germany employees with new intelligence to easily analyze and report on key figures such as earnings per item, number of transactions per day, and loyalty reports. The company can also get a very precise view of customers’ contribution margins from a range of perspectives -- the salesperson’s point of view, the product view and the view at each individual process step. This critical business information is now used across DHL Express Germany by analysts, sales, and management to more efficiently manage resources, predict business opportunities and react more quickly to emerging trends.
“In the past, we grew the business primarily on sales growth,” explained Klaus Baumhauer, Controller at DHL Express Germany. “But to extend our market lead and meet long-term customer needs, we knew we had to be much more efficient. IBM technology has radically transformed our business processes. It has allowed us to reduce maintenance costs so that we now are only spending 25.000 Euros a year for maintenance. And we now have a unified, international data infrastructure to help achieve the consistency we need for fast, effective decision-making.”
DHL Global Forwarding North America, another division of DHL Worldwide, needed quicker access to financial data in a more structured manner so that finance and operational managers could do a better job at tracking budgets and making forecasts to expand the business internationally.
For near real-time access to all their financial information, DHL Global Forwarding finance employees across North America now use IBM Cognos TM1 for forecasting and budgeting data from the entire global organization. Every hour, more than 100,000 records are automatically downloaded to produce a consolidated view of KPIs in less than two minutes. Previously, this was a manual process that would take up to three hours to complete.
DHL Global Forwarding North America can now complete its top-to-bottom budget in one month vs. three months. Since budget updates are performed real-time and all staff can access the latest information simultaneously and instantaneously, management is able to hold budget discussions across four time zones via video conferencing instead of traveling to meet at one location, saving significant travel costs.
The company also uses IBM technology for management reporting of monthly results. About 500 managers at all levels are able to view spreadsheet-based reports that are ready the day after the monthly results are finalized in the accounting system. It used to take three employees working one week to produce these reports when the company had revenues of $1 billion. Today, revenues have reached $3.5 billion, and every manager is able to see a top-level view of their unit as well as line-item details in their reports in real time.
“The biggest change from just a few years ago is just how much emphasis we put into accessing information faster and faster. The need for reliable, up-to-the-minute information is constant. Without it, our finance directors are operating at a huge disadvantage,” said Anand Saxena, Financial Reporting (FIRE), DHL Global Forwarding North America. “Using IBM technology as our business analytic platform, we’ve been able to drastically improve the quality and timeliness of reporting and at the same time improve the efficiency of our finance department.”
DHL is the global market leader of the international express and logistics industry, specializing in providing innovative and customized solutions from a single source. The company offers expertise in express, air and ocean freight, overland transport, contract logistic solutions as well as international mail services, combined with worldwide coverage and an in-depth understanding of local markets. DHL’s international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. Some 300,000 employees worldwide are dedicated to providing fast and reliable services that exceed customers’ expectations.
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