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Сегодня у нас в «гостях» профессор-доктор наук Факультета бизнеса и инженерии в немецком университете FHWS
Карстен Макхольц
Prof. Dr. Karsten Machholz

Last months of 2019 were a nightmare for American delivery companies, as the gap between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas was the shortest since 2013. As you might know, this is not a particular problem of the USA, all countries are faced up with periodical extreme increase in amount of orders and deliveries. The Bloomberg's article is about corporations trying to fix the problem. We asked a German professor Karsten Machholz to comment on the article and answer a few questions about the current situation in Germany. Enjoy!

— What can you say about the article in general?

— It´s a great article, showing the importance of agility and customer centricity. If you are not able to fulfill customer demands, e.g. short term delivery, you will have to face direct financial impacts on your bottom line. Therefore huge investments in IT infrastructures and agile processes are essential but they will have a quite quick pay-back.

Is the problem of temporary rising volume of deliveries actual in Germany?

— Yes, I think we are facing more demanding customers all over Europe/ all over the world, as the standards have been shifted within the last decades. In former times everybody was used to receive his goods after a couple of days, now you want to have your parcels delivered within the next day or even within the next hour.

— Are there any strategies and tools how to solve that problem? What is your opinion?

— Getting real-time signals from the market/ point of sales, forecast accuracy, agility, risk management and highly automated back-end processes are key to be competitive in this game. There are many tools on the market, which might be supported by AI or bots, that help to speed-up entire value chains.

— Do you feel that companies which specialize on delivery have improved the quality of their performance in Germany? If yes, how?

— Yes, they really have improved, as otherwise customer would have switched to their competitors easily. Most of them are offering user friendly platforms or Apps, that connect many customers, with many different suppliers, to offer a broad range of products and services, (e.g. Lieferando, Lieferheld, Amazon, Zalando, Conrad Electronics, Otto,…). User experience is key, so the entire process should be done with 3 clicks maximum, and selection, ordering, tracking, delivery and payment (e.g. paypal, apple pay, wechat,…) should be as easy as possible.

What trends will take place in the nearest future?

— We will see much more omnichannel supply chains, i.e. the customer wants to have every product on any device at any time. So most global companies have to adapt and fully support their customer`s journey. Automation and bots are an ongoing issue. City logistics and last mile delivery will still be very challenging, despite all the different concepts that are currently tested. Drone deliveries could help developing countries, rural areas or very beneficial for fast disaster recovery and a fast supply of medicines, food and materials.

3-D printing could be a real game changer for some specific parts, as we can see in the current COVID-19 crisis. Valves, that are urgently needed for medical breathing ventilators, are normally produced in China. Now in the time the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are 3-D printed in Europe, to cover the urgent demand.

And last but not least predictive analytics and machine learning will help us to build more resilient, agile and maybe more regional Supply Chains after the recovery form COVID-19.
Интервью подготовил – SMM Director "Популярной Логистики"
Никита Мицкевич
"Popular Logistics" SMM Director

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