DHL highlights emerging supply chain trends within the technology sector
Together with its customers, DHL, the world’s leading logistics provider, has identified a number of supply chain trends that will help shape the technology sector in the future
In June, at the company’s third annual global technology conference in Shanghai, China, over 250 technology experts from a broad range of leading companies met to discuss the fast changing dynamics of the technology market. Among the key findings was that competition within the sector is becoming more intense and that Asia’s importance as both a manufacturing location and a consumer market is growing. Both of these trends promise to amplify the role of logistics as a competitive differentiator in the technology industry.
“More than any other industry, the technology sector is driven by constant innovation, short product cycles and new sales channels. From a logistics perspective this is a great challenge, but it also provides forward-thinking logistics companies with an opportunity to embed themselves more fundamentally in the technology supply chain and generate even more value for customers,” said Ken Allen, CEO DHL Express and Executive Board Sponsor for the Technology sector. “To keep up with the rapid changes within this dynamic industry, we are working together closely with our customers and partners to develop new solutions.”
Under the heading “Keeping Pace with Change” international industry experts and thought leaders at the conference shared their views on recent trends such as the emergence of mobile devices ahead of PCs as the preferred access tool for the internet. In fact, DHL estimates that 60% of all IT hardware growth will come from tablets and smartphones this year. Both devices also elevate a trend towards high innovation cycles, which demands logistics providers to improve time to market while supporting competitive price positioning. DHL has developed a portfolio of solutions to help address these challenges and to generate increased value, including direct distribution services, such as Door-to-More and Break Bulk Express, and options to reinforce high quality customer service offerings, such as Technical Service. Technical Service supports customers' pre-sales activities by enabling product configuration close to final distribution and integrates repair and logistics activities associated with the recovery of defective goods to enhance the after-sales process.
An overall trend towards simplified and lighter products, combined with price pressure, is challenging manufacturers, their suppliers, and sometimes even their competitors to develop collaborative solutions that improve the cost efficiency of the technology supply chain. This trend has seen an increase in the use of shared logistics platforms such as multi-user warehouses.
The Asia Pacific region continues to grow dynamically and is the starting point of many supply chains that serve the technology markets worldwide. Accordingly, the DHL Global Technology Conference 2013 focused on Asia as a consumer market, the shift of manufacturing to areas such as China’s Western provinces, Vietnam or Indonesia, and the implications on supply chains. The experts highlighted that the continued growth of Asia at both ends of the product cycle will challenge global logistics providers to add resilience, visibility and control to supply chains. DHL has a robust platform of warehousing, cross-docking and customs clearance facilities throughout Asia Pacific, as well as risk management tools to support global customers in their planning and reduce exceptions within their supply chain.
As a global company, DHL supports its technology customers by delivering access to worldwide markets and providing them with specialized, value-added solutions based on a network of over 285 000 people in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. With over 30 years of experience in the Asian markets, DHL continues investing to reinforce its leading position in the region. In 2012, the company invested USD 175 million in Shanghai to launch its biggest express hub in Asia. In 2013, DHL has strengthened its Asia Pacific aviation network with additional wide-bodied aircraft, connecting major markets within Asia and providing additional direct links with the Americas market.