DHL invests in aircraft and facilities for West Africa
Global giant DHL has made big moves to meet the increasing demand coming from West Africa, investing in both facility and air infrastructure.
The investment includes the launch of three new aircraft, a Boeing 757 and two ATR72s and the founding of an airside facility in Dakar, Senegal.
Oliver Facey, Vice President of Operations for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Over the last few years, we’ve increasingly seen the importance of up scaling our facilities in the various regions within the continent.
“As multinationals turn to Africa, and as smaller African enterprises look to trade cross-border, regions like West Africa need increased infrastructure and capacity to cope with the rising demand for the transportation of goods across these markets.”
The facility will improve service quality, enable the handling of material destined for Senegal and transit material through Dakar.
“We have expanded our operation at Dakar as a natural location for feeding in traffic to West Africa,” added Facey.
“The Dakar facility receives a new return flight from Brussels and it will be serviced once a week by a Boeing 757 200 SF with a capacity of more than 25 tons.”
The new 7 ton-capacity ATR 72’s will connect Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Mauritania.
Facey said: "These investments mean that we can offer increased dedicated capacity in West Africa and generally have less dependency on limited commercial airlines uplift for volumes along the west coast of Africa.
“This increased capacity supports both DHL’s express and freight products, especially perishable goods, which has always been one of the easier ways for African businesses to gain access to European markets and now DHL can better support players in this market.”
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.