Five Questions for Dave Gawthrop of DHL Supply Chain
DHL Supply Chain is a multinational division of Deutsche Post DHL, which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany. DHL Supply Chain provides contract logistics solutions along the entire supply chain for customers from a wide variety of business sectors.
We had the chance to speak with Dave Gawthrop, senior director of global customer development. We discussed the growth of their division, and why DHL Supply Chain has expanded in Utah.
What makes up the Supply Chain division?
DG: When most people think of DHL, they think of big trucks and planes, and moving products from point A to point B. We certainly do that, but DHL Supply Chain offers specialized warehousing, transportation, e-commerce fulfillment, and other value added services, such as, Real Estate Services, or Packaging Services, which consists of co-packing of products into promotional packs and retail displays.
The Supply Chain division focuses on six industry sectors – consumer, retail, automotive, manufacturing (including energy and mining), technology, and life sciences. Working with our customers in those industries, our solutions designers, operators, real estate experts and value added services subject matter experts are able to understand and design solutions to serve specific client needs.
We take a data-driven approach that keeps us focused on engineering practical solutions. We can locate a warehouse near a client or in a region that best suits a client’s needs, and then within that facility, structure processes that most efficiently meet their distribution requirements and total cost of operations objectives. I like to say, “If you’ve seen one DHL solution, you’ve seen one DHL solution.” Each DHL Supply Chain solution is highly customized, flexible and built with a vision for future innovation and continuous improvement. That said, it is our ability to leverage our broad sector experience and share designs and best practices that drives our leadership position.
What is DHL’s scale of operations?
Currently, DHL Supply Chain has approximately 160,000 associates and we serve about 1,500 clients worldwide. The division operates in Latin America, Asian Pacific, Europe and North America with over 220 countries and territories served. In North America, we have 500 locations with five of them based in the Salt Lake Valley. Our Utah locations employ more than 280 associates.
Why has Utah been a location for DHL Supply Chain expansion?
Our latest location was established in Utah to optimally serve the Western U.S. network needs of our client. Right now, our Utah locations have dedicated facilities for our clients in consumer and outdoor products, food and office equipment manufacturing, household products, and mining. Our outdoor product facility is the newest in Utah and has 40 associates. That team and the operation are poised to process in excess of 800 daily e-commerce orders direct to consumer as well as provide inventory replenishment to support the retail reseller network.
Life sciences has developed into one of the fastest-growing sectors served by our Supply Chain division, so we anticipate Utah will be a strategic location for us moving forward, given the state’s strong life sciences industry cluster.
What are some advantages with having different Utah locations?
First of all, there are a lot of positives about locating operations in Utah. It’s a great hub for reaching the western U.S. market.
Although we have dedicated facilities for each client, the five different locations in the Salt Lake Valley have allowed us to create a campus-like culture with our employees. For one thing, it is possible for labor sharing when specific clients have heavier workloads and deadlines. We have greater opportunities for shared operations and economies of scale.
The campus approach also provides more work experience and career paths for our employees. This helps our recruitment and retention efforts. At the highest level, our campus culture is company-wide so we can encourage employees to transfer throughout the company if they want to take on more responsibilities and better themselves.
What sets DHL apart from your competitors?
In today’s world, there are plenty of organizations big and small providing services similar to DHL Supply Chain. What differentiates DHL from the rest is that we are a stable, well-run, conservative organization that focuses on maintaining a strong employee culture and investing in innovation for tomorrow. On the employee side, we focus on finding the right fit and balance between wages, benefits, and culture. We manage this effort through the deployment of Employee Opinion Surveys that are responded to through organizational action plans to ensure that we provide a desirable place to work.
On the business side, DHL’s vision for the future is focused on expanding our market leading platform for innovation. We are absolutely committed to investing in innovation that will deliver value and service level differentiation for our clients.
For more information, visit https://www.logistics.dhl/us-en/home/our-divisions/supply-chain.html