The DHL Risk & Resilience Conference that took place on September 22, 2016 brought together nearly 150 executives and practitioners in supply chain, business continuity, security and risk management from around the globe. Hosted at the DHL Innovation Center in Germany, the audience explored the theme of “Maintaining Network Agility in a Volatile Environment”.
With an agenda packed with interesting keynote presentations, a trade fair of the DHL Innovation Center and engaging breakout sessions, the conference had the highest satisfaction rate and received overall very positive feedback. We would like to share with you in this article a retrospective on the conference and some of the key learnings, as well as some impressions from our customers and conference attendees in the below video.
Insights on leading change under pressure from the former head of Britain’s Security Service (MI5)
This year’s guest keynote speaker, Baroness Manningham-Buller of Northampton, former head of Britain’s Security Service (MI5), shared insights from her experience of leading the organization through substantial change in the wake of 9/11 and the threat from Al-Qaeda. During her time at the helm MI5 doubled in size, opened eight new offices and altered its approach to the professional development of staff with the establishment of a training academy.
In logistics, innovation is resilience
The day was opened by Bill Meahl, CCO DHL and CEO DHL Global Forwarding Americas, setting the scene for the need of innovation in the logistics industry. With trade continuously increasing in the past three decades, logistics became the back-bone of international trade. In this new global context characterized by trends such as Globalization 4.0 & Connectedness, the next phase of digitization, and a demanding business environment, innovation is a key driver for supply chain resilience. Bill also talked about the current need that businesses have for quick delivery times, global supply chain stability and visibility, but also the continuous cost and margin pressure that calls for innovation.
To respond to all these new market trends, the Deutsche Post DHL Group is fostering innovation to bring customers solutions that shape the future of the industry. Piloting the use of robotics in logistics, where humans and robots are working side-by-side in warehousing, or the development of the DHL Resilience360 tool, are just some of the developments born at the DHL Innovation Center.
Risk trends and innovation in resilience
The volatile environment of the past few years and the catastrophic events such as the 2010 eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajökull, or the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami can lead to enormous economic loses across all industries. With supply chains getting more global and more complex, a disruption in a single node of the supply chain can have wide-ranging implications.
So how should companies deal with risks posed by natural disasters, terrorism, border congestions or supplier financial stress? These are just some of the topics address by Tobias Larsson, Head of DHL Resilience360, also emphasizing on the need for a balanced approach between optimization and resiliency.
Enabling and improving emergency response activities through the use of technology for SOS Children’s villages
Following our announcement of SOS Children’s Villages managing risks using the DHL Resilience360 tool, Andreas Papp also share some insights into how the use of space technology plays a role in SOS’s emergency response activities. Providing an overview of the current humanitarian crises and the present SOS emergency response projects, his presentation emphasized the importance of technology in the NGO space.
Maintaining global network agility in the face of disruption
Nobody knows that better than Paul Kilmister, Global Head of Warehouse and Transporation at Satair Group / Airbus. For Airbus, the catalyst for the need for increased proactivity and reactivity were the 2012 tornadoes that stroke the Dallas area and left Airbus with 100+ aircraft grounded and a huge network impact.
In his presentation, Paul shared the experience and its impacts on the current approach for maintaining global network agility in the aviation aftermarket with the use of real time information on the events that are taking place in the world and investing in a world class operations team to ‘make the call’.
On the same note, Charlie Dobbie, EVP of Global Network Operations, IT & Aviation for DHL Express, shared how as the most international company in the world achieves successful risk management through a global standard operating platform that provides flexibility and agility.
In this increasing volatile environment and a customer centric culture embedded in the DNA of the company, DHL is proud to deliver great service quality through four Quality Control Centers that do crisis management, real time shipment management, proactive notification and service recovery. Looking back at some of the recent disruptions, Charlie shared how through the power of the people, DHL Express managed to remain the only express operator in West Africa during the Ebola crisis in 2014-2015, and have the only aircraft flying right after the 2010 ash cloud, volcano eruption in Iceland.
Managing supply chain disruptions also requires a good understanding of the global risks and tailored insurance solutions
Jürgen Wiemann, Head of Property for Central Eastern Europe at Allianz AGCS, emphasized on the importance of understanding the economic impact of supply chain disruptions and offered insights into the top 10 global risks for companies. As the risk landscape is changing and businesses are facing a wider range of disruptive and interconnected forces, he recommended focusing on risk transfer when it really matters and there is a substantial risk in terms of losses.
Disrupt or be disrupted
Dr. Markus Kückelhaus, Vice President Innovation and Trend Research at DHL, provided an insight into the future of logistics, and the risks and opportunities ahead. In his view, logistics companies have to be in the driver seat of innovation and he offered a deep-dive into the DHL Trend Radar and some of the trends that impact businesses already.
Self-learning systems, omni-channel logistics, fair & responsible logistics, assisted order picking and unmanned aerial vehicles are just some of the topics he approached in his presentation.
In summary, the 2016 DHL Risk & Resilience Conference has successfully managed to create a cross-functional community that looks at risk management in a holistic way, leveraging innovation and technologies to turn potential disruptions into a competitive advantage.