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SIL CONLE DERS
THE
Tech-Drive
Implemen ng New-age
Technology to Enhance
Supply Chain Services
Know-How
How do Leaders Define
Adeptness in Streamlining
Supply Chain Methods?
Unleashing the Alchemist Within
The Logis cs Industry
Chitra Shinde
VP Opera ons
DHL Express
The Most
Innovative
2023
Leader in
VOL -08 | ISSUE-02 | 2023
Supply chain management
is about managing
relationships – it’s not just
about moving boxes
E
Editor’s
Desk
Editor’s
Desk
EIn the dynamic realm of business
and commerce, the backbone of
success lies in the meticulous
orchestration of supply chains.
Innovation is the heartbeat of progress,
and in a world where seamless
connectivity and real-time adaptability
reign supreme, supply chain
management stands at the forefront of
transformation. Casting these
fundamentals, we present to you this
special feature of The Silicon Leaders, we
shed the spotlight on The Most
Innovative Supply Chain Leader
in 2023.
This issue dives deep into the strategies,
technologies, and visionary mindset that
has propelled our chosen leader to the
zenith of supply chain excellence. From
the pages that follow, you'll glean
insights into groundbreaking approaches
that redefine traditional logistics.
We explore how this leader leverages
cutting-edge technologies such as AI-
driven predictive analytics, blockchain
traceability, and IoT-powered real-time
monitoring to create a network that's
not only efficient but also agile enough
to navigate the unforeseen disruptions
that define our times.
Beyond the realm of technology, this
leader's commitment to sustainability
sets a profound example. With
environmental consciousness guiding
their practices, they illustrate how
responsible supply chain management
can coexist with profitability. The pages
ahead unravel stories of partnerships
forged with suppliers and stakeholders,
weaving a tapestry of collaboration that
strengthens the entire ecosystem.
But innovation is not merely about
tools; it's a mindset that permeates the
company culture. Chitra Shinde stands
as a beacon of how fostering a culture
of creativity and adaptability can unleash
the potential of a workforce, nurturing
ideas that revolutionize the status quo.
As we celebrate this leader's remarkable
achievements, we also reflect on the
broader implications of their work. In
an era marked by challenges that
transcend borders, the world of supply
chain management takes on a pivotal
role in shaping global commerce,
resilience, and continued efforts.
AbhishekJoshi
The Orchestration
and
DefiniteProgress
C o n t e n t s
Articles
Tech-Drive
Implemen ng New-age Technology to
Enhance Supply Chain Services
Know-How
27
33
How do Leaders Define Adeptness in
Streamlining Supply Chain Methods?
08
Unleashing the Alchemist Within
The Logis cs Industry
Featuring
Merry D'Souza
Editor-in-Chief
Deputy Editor Abhishek Joshi
Executive Editor Muskan Kapoor
Assistant Editor Anish Miller
Visualizer David King
Art & Design Director Revati Badkas
Associate Designer Ankita Pandharpure
Senior Sales Manager Sawant. N
Marketing Manager John Matthew
Technical Head Prachi Mokashi
SME-SMO Executive Sagar Lahigade
Business Development Manager Dave Morgan
Sales Executives David, Akash
Business Development Executives Steve, Joe
Digital Marketing Manager Dominique T.
Research Analyst Frank Adams
Circulation Manager Robert Brown
Database Management Stella Andrew
Technology Consultant David Stokes
contact@thesiliconleaders.com
July, 2023
Copyright © 2023 The Silicon Leaders, All rights reserved. The content and
images used in this magazine should not be reproduced or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise, without prior permission from The Silicon Leaders.
Reprint rights remain solely with The Silicon Leaders.
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SIL
CONLE
DERS
THE
Excellence
In
The
Spotlight CREDITS
SIL CONLE DERS
THE
awards this certificate to
Chitra Shinde
in recognition as
for her resolute business acumen and significant expertise that is
enabling new-age transformations in the supply chain niche.
Marry D'Souza
Editor-in-Chief
2023
2023
2023
The Most
Innovative
2023
Leader in
Unleashing the Alchemist Within
The Logis cs Industry
DHL has an exceptional
training and
development program
for employees, which
helped me develop the
competence and the
confidence to grow into
my current role.
Chitra
Shinde
|
VP
Opera
ons
DHL
Express
The world of international
commerce is a bustling one, with
businesses constantly striving to
stay connected with their customers
across borders. In order to do this, they
need to be able to deliver products
quickly and reliably. This can be a
challenge, as there are many factors that
can affect the speed and reliability of
international shipping, such as customs
clearance, transit times and weather
conditions.
To deliver consistently great customer
service, businesses need to have an
expansive knowledge of their product,
believe in the product, be able to discuss
features and use cases in an insightful
way and show the customers how the
product can benefit them. They also
need to respond quickly to customer
queries. Also, businesses need to adapt
their products to cultural differences,
linguistic particularities, local
expectations, purchasing power and
habits and legal requirements to make
their product accessible to people across
markets.
Transportation, logistics, supply chain
and storage are all critical components
of international commerce. Businesses
need to be able to deliver products
quickly and reliably to stay connected
with their customers across borders.
In this fast-paced environment where
change is constant, Chitra Shinde
stands at the forefront of driving
transportation, logistics, supply chain
and storage solutions for a global
company DHL Express as the Vice
President of Operations. As a
trailblazer in the industry, Chitra
spearheads efforts to continuously
improve businesses' operations,
delivering efficient and seamless
solutions that help them thrive in today's
competitive marketplace.
At DHL Express, the commitment to
customer success is unwavering. They
believe in providing businesses with
innovative ways to enhance its
operations, whether it's streamlining
shipping processes, optimizing supply
chain efficiency, or exploring new
markets for expansion. With decades of
experience in shipping, logistics and
eCommerce, DHL Express has built a
vast international network covering
more than 220 countries and territories
worldwide.
Chitra's expertise and visionary
approach play a crucial role in
maintaining DHL Express's position as
a global leader in transportation and
logistics. She understands the dynamic
nature of the industry and is constantly
exploring cutting-edge technologies and
solutions to keep businesses connected
and competitive.
As an industry thought leader, Chitra is
committed to DHL Express's privacy
obligations of the highest standards,
fostering trust and confidence in the
customers. With a customer-centric
mindset, she and her team work
tirelessly to provide seamless and reliable
solutions for businesses.
In a world where time and efficiency are
paramount, Chitra Shinde and DHL
Express are the driving force behind
businesses' success, connecting them
with customers quickly, efficiently and
with utmost reliability. With her dynamic
leadership and passion for excellence,
Chitra continues to shape the future of
transportation, logistics, supply chain
and storage services, enabling businesses
to thrive in the global marketplace.
Let's delve into how Chitra embarked on
an Unstoppable Journey and discover
the Future of Logistics at DHL Express!
Charting Uncharted Waters
Chitra's exciting journey began right
after she completed her education.
Eager to explore new horizons, she
made the bold move to Bombay, the
bustling metropolis. Her first step into
the professional world led her to DHL
Express, where she started as a Trainee
in the logistics industry.
At that time, the logistics sector was
undergoing a remarkable transformation
with the advent of automation, scalable
software and cutting-edge processes.
Chitra was fortunate enough to be at the
forefront of this rapid growth,
witnessing firsthand the innovations that
were shaping the industry.
Over the next fifteen years, Chitra's
career took her across five different
countries, offering her a truly global
experience. She ventured into the
terrains of Papua New Guinea, Fiji,
Australia, and New Zealand. Immersed
in diverse cultures and work
environments, Chitra gained invaluable
experience, which would later prove
instrumental in her career.
After her enriching stint overseas, Chitra
felt the call to return to her homeland,
India, to be closer to her parents. She
joined Gati Limited and took on key
roles, where she proved her mettle as
Chief Business Chain Officer, Chief
Operating Officer, and President and
Board member for Gati – KWE.
However, Chitra's heart was drawn back
to the international stage, and she was
thrilled to rejoin the esteemed DHL
Express, renowned globally as the No. 1
Great Place to Work. Embracing a new
opportunity, she stepped into the
position of Customer Operations
Group Manager and later Senior
Director Gateways in Australia where
she continued to excel.
I was mobile
and loved to
travel and with
DHL being
present in 220
countries &
territories-this
was the
drawcard
With her unwavering dedication and
perseverance, Chitra rose to her current
role as Vice President of Operations in
New Zealand. Throughout her journey,
DHL's exceptional training and
development program coupled with a
culture of feedback, played a crucial role
in honing her skills and confidence,
enabling her to flourish in her current
position.
Chitra's career choices were not always
directed solely towards vertical growth.
She made mindful decisions to explore
various roles and locations, which
exposed her to a myriad of
opportunities and cultures. This
approach instilled in her a sense of
humility and a balanced perspective on
her career, personal responsibilities,
parenting and living a fulfilling life.
Through her experiences, Chitra learned
the value of collaboration and
surrounded herself with brilliant minds,
enriching her professional acumen. With
a holistic approach to life, she embraced
the challenges and rewards that came
her way, growing both as a professional
and as an individual.
Igniting the Spark
When Chitra joined DHL Express as a
trainee, her knowledge of the supply
chain was limited to sales and
distribution management, particularly in
the traditional FMCG industry's (she
mentions it traditional non-technical
way) methods of reaching remote
corners of rural India. However, her
role at DHL provided her with a unique
opportunity to delve deep into the world
of express distribution. Chitra gained a
comprehensive understanding of the
entire supply chain, from demand
planning to last-mile delivery and reverse
logistics. Explaining the same, she says,
"From demand planning through to last mile
and reverse logistics." The world of
operations fascinated her with its
dynamic nature, involving design,
motion, location, cost optimization, and
strategic planning.
Over time, supply chain has evolved
significantly, progressing from ancient
trade routes that took months to
modern engineering, transportation,
technology, JIT Manufacturing,
Automation, Blockchain, AI,
The recent
global pandemic
and Suez Canal
blockage
exposed that a
'crises' on an
unprecedented
scale without
warning,
exposed the
frailty of supply
chains.
Robotics and Big Data analytics. The
ever-changing landscape of the industry
intrigued Chitra and she relished the
challenges it presented.
With determination, Chitra learned to
plan, organize and execute effectively.
Embracing the value of teamwork, she
leveraged the strengths of those around
her and developed her skills in
collaborative settings. She mentions, "I
was mobile and loved to travel and with DHL
being present in 220 countries & territories-
this was the drawcard." This love for travel
found a perfect match with DHL's
global presence, which further enriched
her experience by exposing her to
different cultures.
Chitra's dedication and hard work did
not go unnoticed. She actively sought
out opportunities and volunteered to
lead projects, investing in her personal
development. As she grew in
competence, the organization entrusted
her with higher responsibilities, which
sometimes pushed her out of her
comfort zone. To this, she states,
"Sometimes I found myself stretched and other
times I felt I was in my comfort zone." It was
during these challenging moments that
Chitra realized true growth comes from
embracing discomfort and maintaining a
positive attitude.
At DHL Express, the pandemic posed a
significant obstacle as they lost access to
passenger flights almost overnight,
which played a crucial role in the
Oceania network. In response, the
company quickly chartered several
passenger flights while rerouting and
repositioning its network. Additionally,
they had recently added more B777
aircraft to their fleet, which allowed for
alternative routing to feed into an
expanded intercontinental network. This
adaptation ensured that DHL Express
could continue to keep the world
connected by transporting urgent
medical supplies, lifesaving equipment
and vaccines during a time of
heightened demand.
She mentions, "This lack of air capacity
resulted in unprecedented demand.
Locally we were able to leverage the
strengths of our DHL group companies
DHL Supply Chain and DHL
Forwarding to provide us access to their
networks and seamlessly cater to this
additional demand so we could flex
upward and retract when the demand
tapered off.”
She mentions, "I faced tough situations that
molded me into the person I am today."
Reflecting on her adventure, she
recognized the guidance and trust she
received from incredible mentors and
leaders who provided valuable feedback
and invested in her growth and her as a
person.
In hindsight, Chitra's career path has
been nothing short of remarkable. She
cherishes the great adventure she
embarked on and her experiences have
shaped her into a capable and resilient
professional. Chitra remains grateful for
the support and encouragement she
received from exceptional individuals
who played a vital role in her journey of
growth and success.
Turning Mountains into
Molehills
The recent global pandemic and the
unexpected blockage of the Suez Canal
exposed the vulnerabilities of supply
chains on an unprecedented scale.
Chitra, working at DHL Express,
witnessed firsthand the challenges that
arose during this crisis. Businesses
struggled to source the products, faced
extensive delays and dealt with soaring
costs.
physical distancing measures, staying
true to the DHL Group's purpose of
'Connecting People, Improving Lives.'
Remarkably, DHL Express in New
Zealand managed to avoid any COVID-
19 cases until the emergence of the
Omicron variant in early 2022.
Earlier this year, Chitra and her team
faced devastating floods that affected
parts of the country. Roads were washed
away, cutting off access to certain areas.
In response, DHL Express quickly
found alternative routes to reach its
personnel, restore connectivity and
provide essential supplies. They
prioritized resuming operations swiftly,
being the first to reopen its operations.
In one instance during the Auckland
floods, DHL made quick decisions to
divert its flight operations from CHC to
Australia to restrict the impact to the
North Island and maintain connections
to the South Island. The whole process
required swift coordination among
In New Zealand, the challenges were
further compounded as the domestic
commercial passenger air network was
also disrupted. DHL Express made bold
investments and introduced its own
flight to connect the South Island to
Auckland. From these major hubs, they
were able to use road networks to reach
all domestic locations, maintaining vital
connections.
Chitra also says, "From Auckland and
Christchurch, we could connect to all
domestic locations via Road. It was an
intense time of unprecedented change,
creativity and innovation to ensure that
our customers were not impacted and
could rely on us for their own business
continuity.”
Throughout these trying times, the DHL
Express operations teams remained
resilient as an essential service provider.
Despite the hardships of lockdowns,
they worked diligently while adhering to
multiple players and external providers,
and communication was done primarily
through group chats to expedite
decision-making.
Amidst these challenges, her team
demonstrated remarkable resilience,
creativity and innovation to ensure the
customers were not adversely affected
and could rely on DHL Express for
business continuity. The ability to adapt,
think on the feet and swiftly implement
solutions has been a testament to its
commitment to excellence and customer
service.
Weaving the Threads of
Efficiency
As the head of operations at DHL
Express, Chitra's role revolves around
executing the company's Global Strategy
at the local level. Her primary focus is
on motivating and developing a team of
certified international specialists who are
dedicated to delivering the best service
to customers. Chitra strongly believes in
fostering a culture of inclusivity and
collaboration, making DHL Express a
Great Place to Work for all employees.
To ensure the success of its operations,
she actively seeks input from various
stakeholders, including the workforce,
leaders, the voice of the business and
most importantly, the voice of its
customers.
One of Chitra's key responsibilities is to
make strategic decisions related to the
design of its network and infrastructure.
To do this effectively, she analyzes
projected growth and emerging trends
that may impact local operations over
the next decade. For instance, she is
keen on expanding DHL's network
reach into regional areas, harnessing
global initiatives in Digitalization and
machine learning technology to improve
scalability and efficiency.
As a market leader, DHL Express takes
its responsibility in environmental,
social, compliance and governance
matters seriously. The company has set
ambitious goals, including achieving
Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 and
having 60% electric vehicles in the first
and last-mile operations by 2030. Chitra
is confident that they will surpass this
aspiration. To reduce its carbon
footprint, DHL Express has already
invested in more fuel-efficient aircraft
like B777s and is purchasing Sustainable
Aviation Fuel (SAF). She is particularly
enthusiastic about the prospects of
electric light aircraft, like the Alice
model, for shorter distances and
payload, given New Zealand's green
energy advantage.
In line with the environmental
commitment, DHL Express has
converted to LED lighting for energy
consumption reduction. Going a step
further, all new buildings will be
Despite the hardships of lockdowns, the
company worked diligently while adhering
to physical distancing measures, staying
true to DHL's purpose of 'Connecting
People, Improving Lives.
Operations has evolved from the ancient trade routes that took
months of travel through tough terrain, to the modern world
of jets, engineering, transportation, technology, JIT
manufacturing, automation, blockchain, AI, Robotics and big
data analytics.
The Ace up the Sleeve
During the pandemic, Chitra faced
unprecedented challenges as the volume
of shipments at DHL Express surged
dramatically due to prolonged
movement restrictions in and out of
Auckland. Overnight, the volume
doubled, exceeding the company's then
capacity and requiring them to extend
into after-hours delivery, a common
practice during peak periods.
To cope with the sudden increase in
volume, her team swiftly built data
integration with a sister company within
a week. This integration allowed DHL
Express to tap into its sister company's
network, which could flex additional
capacity. In the express delivery
business, data visibility of shipment
movement is as crucial as the actual
delivery itself, as everything is time-
sensitive. The IT teams worked
diligently to provide a solution that
would typically take months, showcasing
dedication and efficiency.
Furthermore, the pandemic led to a
significant increase in clearance
requirements. Fortunately, another sister
company had the capability to scale up
clearance through its network, which
DHL Express could leverage. This
collaboration not only provided the
much-needed scale at short notice but
also kept the additional expenses within
the DHL group, resulting in a win-win
situation.
Chitra's approach to problem-solving is
straightforward but effective. When
presented with an idea or a challenge
from someone on her team, she strives
to find a compelling reason to say yes.
She encourages an environment where
team members feel confident sharing
ideas, knowing that Chitra will consider
them seriously. Actively listening and
looking out for ideas, especially from the
frontline, leaders, peers, managers,
customers, and her own team, have led
to the discovery of many great
solutions. Although implementing some
of these solutions can take months or
even years, Chitra values and hangs onto
good ideas.
To ensure successful problem-solving,
Chitra links solutions to customer
experience, seeking ways to make it a
better experience for those who drive
customer satisfaction. She avoids
wasting time on critiquing ideas and
instead encourages others to challenge
and scrutinize them. The goal is to avoid
mistakes and thoroughly test the ideas
before implementation. Chitra often
asks questions like, 'Why might this fail?'
and encourages her team to share
individual perspectives and identify
potential blind spots.
Through her thoughtful and inclusive
problem-solving approach, Chitra
empowers her team to think creatively,
fosters a culture of innovation and
ensures that DHL Express can adapt
swiftly to unexpected challenges and
changing circumstances.
Building Bridges to Tomorrow
Within the company, Chitra is a strong
advocate for fostering innovation at
multiple levels. She recognizes that
innovation can emerge from different
sources, including bottom-up initiatives
from employees through campfires and
suggestions to improve processes or
experiences. Additionally, top-down
innovation occurs through
enhancements in software and the
adoption of available technologies.
Furthermore, external factors can also
drive the need for innovation within the
company. All three approaches are
equally vital and contribute to the
culture of innovation at DHL.
powered by 100% solar energy, allowing
them not only to save energy but also to
generate their own. With the expected
increase in demand for electricity as
more companies and individuals adopt
electric vehicles, self-sufficiency in
energy generation becomes crucial.
Chitra acknowledges the challenge of
converting existing buildings to solar
energy, but she believes it is achievable.
Looking into the future, Chitra is
optimistic about advancements in
technology that will make renewable
energy more affordable and accessible.
Building-integrated photovoltaics
(BIPV) and solar Photovoltaics elements
used in windows and roofs are expected
to improve overall energy efficiency.
Additionally, developments in battery
technology will enable economical and
effective storage of solar-generated
energy, reducing dependence on the
power grid. DHL Express aims to be at
the forefront of these advancements
along with continuously making small
incremental changes to reduce its carbon
footprint and make a positive impact on
sustainability.
With a commitment to sustainability,
DHL Express also offers green carbon
offset and inset products to its
customers. It has increased internal
reporting and visibility of its carbon
footprint, enabling the company to
make informed decisions to drive
sustainability efforts. Chitra hopes that
her experiences and DHL's initiatives
will inspire other companies in the
industry and communities to embrace
sustainability practices. She reviews
internal best demonstrated practises and
external case studies such as being
inspired by one in Bangladesh where an
entire village functions on affordable
solar panels, with excess energy being
shared within the community to
generate income. We are Stronger
Together.
Chitra is particularly passionate about
continuous improvement, appreciating
the sense of control it provides. She
believes that both internal and external
innovation can complement this
approach, leading to the creation of best
practices. By embracing continuous
improvement, DHL fosters a culture of
elevating a great team to even greater
heights, a concept they refer to as 'First
Choice.' This structured methodology is
based on Sigma and Lean principles and
empowers DHL employees to drive
sustainable improvements using various
tools.
Some of the tools employed by Chitra
and her team include DMAIC (Define,
Measure, Analyse, Improve, and
Control), PDCA (Plan Do Check Act),
APW (Action Plan Worksheet), ImpAct
(Improvement Action), SIPOC (Supplier
Input Process Output Customer
mapping), Effort Benefit Matrix,
Fishbone, 5S, GEMBA, Performance
Dialogue, Stakeholder mapping, AS is
and TO BE Backward imaging, and Stop
Start Continue and a strong
Communications Plan. These tools
facilitate a systematic and inclusive
problem-solving process, encouraging
multiple team members to collaborate in
During the Auckland
floods earlier this year, we
diverted our flight to operate
from CHC to Australia to
minimize the impact to just
the North Island and maintain
connectivity to the South.
finding the best solutions and, more
importantly, sustaining them over time.
Chitra's dedication to continuous
improvement is evident through her
pursuit of certifications within DHL's
program. She takes pride in being a
Master Gold, Advisor Bronze and
Accelerated Change and Transition
(ACT) Bronze. She is actively working
towards achieving additional
certifications, such as Advisor Silver, and
ACT Silver. By acquiring these
certifications, Chitra exemplifies the
importance of structured and inclusive
problem-solving methodologies, where
multiple team members are involved in
the decision-making and execution
process.
As a leader, Chitra relies heavily on data
analysis to prioritize problems and
identify clear priorities. She understands
that not every issue carries the same
level of importance and data analysis
helps her allocate resources and efforts
effectively.
By championing innovation and
continuous improvement, Chitra
contributes significantly to the growth
and success of DHL Express, ensuring
that the company remains at the
forefront of excellence and efficiency in
the logistics industry.
Taking the Bull by the Horns
In the logistics industry, the issue of
carbon emissions has garnered
significant attention due to the inherent
nature of the services provided. As
sustainability becomes a paramount
concern, Chitra recognizes the
importance of striving for carbon
neutrality not only for DHL Express but
also for the benefit of other industries.
She believes that government mandates
and subsidies will play a crucial role in
determining the pace of this transition,
especially for smaller companies.
Embracing technology, AI, automation
and robotics will be vital in driving
efficiencies and reducing the industry's
carbon footprint.
Chitra envisions a future where
transparency and visibility across the
entire logistics value chain will improve,
benefiting multiple stakeholders. With
the right technological advancements,
collaboration on environmental matters
will increase, allowing for more
sustainable practices. Security and
protection of individual information
privacy will remain a priority, even as
information access and collaboration are
enhanced.
As the world's population is projected to
reach 8.5 billion by 2030, the
urbanization of tier 2 and 3 cities could
be a consequence of the challenges
faced by overcrowded, larger cities.
Logistics will play a critical role in
connecting and facilitating
transportation to and from these
emerging cities, contributing to their
growth and development.
The workforce landscape is also
expected to undergo significant changes.
By 2030, Gen Z will dominate the
workforce and influence the way
businesses operate. Chitra recognizes
that this generation is more attuned to
sustainability, diversity, equity and
inclusion. Consequently, upskilling and
inducting new team members will be
essential and needs to be done at a faster
pace. Training and development
programs will need to teach skills quickly
and ensure practical application even.
Future of work will evolve through their
need to change industries or vocations,
choose employers and their own
availability for work to be based on their
other interests at the time.
In this evolving landscape, Chitra
remains committed to ensuring that
DHL Express is easy to work with,
flexible, trustworthy and genuinely cares
about its people and the communities it
serves. By embracing sustainability and
technological advancements, the
company aims to be at the forefront of
industry leaders, providing efficient and
environmentally conscious logistics
solutions. As a visionary leader, she
remains dedicated to positioning DHL
Express for success in a rapidly changing
world, driven by the values of
sustainability, inclusivity and innovation.
The Gold Standard
Safety First, Quality and Compliance is
deeply ingrained in Chitra's mindset and
the culture she fosters within DHL
Express. For her, it is a non-negotiable
aspect of the company's operations.
Chitra firmly believes in accepting
nothing but the best, and she endeavors
to instill this culture throughout the
organization. When these are in our
DNA, the people naturally do not
compromise on it. It becomes the
guiding principle that influences every
aspect of work.
Operational efficiency is another crucial
focus for Chitra and her team. They
continuously strive to improve
processes, seeking ways to do things
better and faster. The goal is to remain
competitive in pricing and, more
importantly, deliver enhanced benefits to
its customers. Chitra emphasizes that
operational efficiency is not merely
about incremental improvement; it often
requires doing things differently to
achieve significant gains in productivity.
This might involve changing processes,
eliminating unnecessary activities,
reducing waste, or embracing
automation.
To achieve true optimization, her team
make it a priority to make the best
possible use of available resources.
When faced with multiple options, they
carefully evaluate each one to select the
approach that yields the best outcomes
and positive gains. Standardization plays
a significant role in ensuring consistent
quality across DHL's operations. Having
set optimal methods and work rates for
tasks, the company employs expert
verification processes to validate and
maintain quality standards.
Chitra recognizes the importance of
understanding processes thoroughly.
Without a deep understanding, it
becomes challenging to identify areas for
improvement and remove non-value-
adding elements. Observation based
methods evaluation can lead to
discovering additional training needs,
which helps the team grow and perform
more efficiently.
At DHL Express, teamwork and
collective results are highly valued.
Chitra emphasizes that individual
capabilities may differ, but the focus
remains on achieving success through
teamwork and collaborative efforts.
Anticipating customer demand and
staying one step ahead of it is a key
strategy for DHL. Proactive planning
ensures they are well-prepared to meet
customer expectations and deliver
exceptional service.
Through her commitment to quality,
operational efficiency and optimization,
Chitra leads by example, setting high
standards for DHL Express. Her
visionary approach and dedication to
continuous improvement contribute to
the company's success as a leader in the
logistics industry.
Greening the Path
Sustainability is at the forefront of
Chitra's priorities at DHL Express. The
company recently introduced its
innovative GoGreen Plus service, setting
a milestone as the first global express
courier to offer customers the option to
use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to
reduce emissions. When customers
select GoGreen Plus, DHL Express
takes action to reduce transport-related
carbon emissions for that shipment by
investing in SAF, effectively lowering the
greenhouse gas emissions associated
with its shipments.
In addition to the SAF initiative, DHL
Express is actively working on other
sustainability projects. They will increase
local E-vehicles for last-mile delivery.
Furthermore, the company has
committed to constructing Green
buildings in the new Christchurch
Gateway by 2025, and they have several
pipeline infrastructure projects in
Auckland and Wellington
To reduce power consumption and
promote sustainability within its
operations, DHL Express has adopted
LED lighting technology. The company
also prioritizes educating its employees
on sustainability and how as individuals
we can contribute to these efforts. The
company actively engages with the
community through initiatives such as
tree planting, community clean-ups and
recycling waste, including repurposing
uniforms and fabrics.
Chitra and DHL Express actively seek
partnerships with companies that have a
positive social impact on sustainability in
local communities. By engaging its
employees through education, practice
and certification programs, DHL
Express encourages a collective effort
toward sustainability. Chitra takes pride
in her personal commitment to the
cause, having made significant changes
in her consumption habits over the past
four years. She views sustainability as a
continuous journey and goals we can set
to reduce our negative impact on the
planet.
With Chitra's leadership and DHL
Express' dedication to sustainability, the
company is making significant strides in
reducing its environmental impact and
setting an example for the logistics
industry.
By embracing sustainability as a core
value, DHL Express is contributing to a
better and more sustainable future for
the planet and the communities it serves.
High-Tech Harmony
Chitra and the team at DHL Express
have harnessed the power of technology
to proactively monitor its shipments and
improve customer experience. They use
innovative solutions, including machine
learning-based systems, to automatically
notify customers to choose their
OnDemand delivery options and some
types of delays related to customs
clearance. This enables customers to
provide the necessary information and,
if required, seek assistance from DHL.
They are starting to see a gradual shift in
preference from customers using chat
bot and digital assistant and email over
calling.
To drive continuous innovation and
improvement, DHL Express has
dedicated innovation centers and
collaborates with external experts in
various fields such as mechanical and
process automation, software
development and research and
development. By partnering with
experts, they ensure that the solutions
they create are tailored to the specific
needs and challenges.
The company primarily relies on its
standard suite of applications to
implement these innovative solutions.
However, when addressing local needs,
they adopt the 'campfire method,' exploring
existing solutions that have successfully
solved similar challenges and replicating
them if applicable. In cases where no
existing solution fits, they may seek
external solutions or develop in-house
changes to meet the requirements.
Training and coaching are essential
components of these deployments, as
they empower employees to effectively
use the new technologies and processes.
The feedback and change requests
received from users play a vital role in
the continuous evolution of DHL
Express's applications, ensuring that
they remain responsive to the dynamic
needs of the customers and operations.
Despite the hardships
of lockdowns, they
worked diligently
while adhering to
physical distancing
measures, staying true
to DHL's purpose of
Connecting People,
Improving Lives.
With a combined proactive approach to
technology and innovation, DHL
Express continue to set industry
standards in logistics, delivering efficient
and customer-centric services through
the strategic use of technology and
continuous improvement.
From Seed to Blossom
Chitra and DHL Express are committed
to developing talent from within the
organization, making significant
investments in training and
development. They foster a culture that
emphasizes both motivational feedbacks
to build confidence and developmental
feedback to enhance competence. To
ensure a strong foundation of
knowledge, all employees undergo the
Certified International Specialist
Foundation program, which familiarizes
them with the company and its
respective functions.
Leaders at DHL Express are provided
with specialized training, such as the
Successful 21st Century Manager
program and Coaching program.
Supervisors, too, benefit from the
Certified Supervisory program. Chitra
and other senior leaders take an active
role in nurturing upcoming leaders,
personally conducting training sessions
that span 2-3 days and can extend from
18 months to 2 years. This investment in
leadership development reinforces a
culture of teamwork and high
performance within the organization.
The company places great emphasis on
internal mobility, offering employees
opportunities to apply for roles within
the organization. The goal is to have at
least three strong internal candidates
ready for each position. If specific
specialist skills are not locally available,
they leverage talent from other countries
or group companies. DHL Express also
runs graduate and undergraduate intake
programs in various countries, attracting
fresh talent to contribute to its future
success.
Individual Development Plans (IDPs)
play a pivotal role in employee growth.
These plans are carefully crafted based
on assessment centers, development
centers, leadership attributes,
competency assessments, 360-degree
feedback, and self-identified skills or
training needs. The organization reviews
succession plans annually for each role,
identifying potential successors to
ensure a strong pipeline of leaders for
the future.
DHL Express provides a range of
learning opportunities, including access
to online learning platforms, company-
sponsored tertiary educational programs
and mentoring initiatives. They
encourage employees to take on short-
term assignments or secondment
opportunities to gain valuable
experiences and exposure.
Globally, DHL Express is continually
exploring ways to leverage technology to
modernize and tailor individual
development needs, striving to create an
even better employee experience. With a
strategic and intentional approach to
talent development, they ensure a pool
of skilled and capable leaders not only
for the company but also for the
broader logistics industry.
Outpacing the Rest
Chitra understands that the foundation
of DHL Express's success lies in its
people. The company places a significant
emphasis on investing in the motivation
and development of its workforce,
recognizing that they are the driving
force behind the delivery of exceptional
service quality. This customer-centric
approach fosters loyalty among
customers, resulting in sustained
profitability for the company.
With a continuous improvement
mindset, DHL Express continually
evaluates its performance and identifies
opportunities for enhancement. By
proactively preparing and investing in
the network, affectionately referred to as
the 'big yellow machine,' they create a
competitive advantage in the market.
Being open and approachable to
customer feedback is a key aspect of the
service philosophy. Customer input is
valued and used as a means to improve
its operations continually.
The company has established a robust
customer services team, recognized with
awards for excellence, which sets a
standard of exceptional service delivery.
This commitment to excellence
resonates throughout DHL Express,
making it a leading player in the logistics
industry.
DHL Express pride themselves on living
and embodying the principles of
excellence in every aspect of its
operations. By continually striving to
deliver the best service possible, they
ensure that its customers' needs are met
and expectations exceeded. The
company's unwavering focus on people,
network investment and customer-
centric approach serves as the
foundation for its success as they remain
dedicated to its motto of ‘Excellence.
Simply delivered.’
Leaping into the Future
In the fast-paced world of information
overload and time demands, Chitra takes
a proactive approach to staying
informed and continuously learning. As
a practice, she diligently reads internal
communications, paying particular
attention to messages from global and
regional leadership. This ensures that she
stays up-to-date with the latest
developments and strategies within the
company.
The company's
unwavering focus on
people, network
investment and a
customer-centric
approach serves as
the foundation for its
success as they
remain dedicated to
the motto of
‘Excellence. Simply
delivered.’
In addition to internal communications,
Chitra also keeps herself abreast of
industry trends and topics. Her regional
operations head shares key media topics
related to the logistics industry, allowing
her to gain insights into broader industry
happenings.
To further expand her knowledge and
insights, Chitra makes use of valuable
resources available to her. She regularly
reads book summaries on leadership and
management developments from
reputable sources such as getAbstract,
Wharton and Harvard Business Review.
By leveraging these summaries, she can
stay informed about the latest ideas and
best practices in leadership and
management.
Furthermore, Chitra actively seeks
inspiration from successful leaders
whom she can learn from. By following
their achievements and experiences, she
gains valuable perspectives and insights
that contribute to her own growth as a
leader.
Chitra also believes in the importance of
learning from colleagues and customers.
Engaging with them allows her to
understand different industries, gain
valuable feedback and identify potential
opportunities for improvement or
innovation.
By staying well-informed and
continuously learning from diverse
sources, Chitra ensures that she remains
agile, adaptable and well-equipped to
navigate the dynamic landscape of the
logistics industry. Her commitment to
ongoing learning is a testament to her
dedication to personal and professional
growth, making her a valuable asset to
DHL Express and a role model for her
team.
A New Dawn in Logistics
Chitra says, “I would not call myself an
alchemist.” humbly describing herself as a
“Student of supply chain,’’ constantly
seeking to expand her knowledge and
leverage the information she possesses
in her current role while preparing for
more complex challenges ahead.
Recognizing the importance of supply
chain expertise across the group
companies, she values how it aids
interactions with customers and
regulators, ultimately contributing to
keeping the world connected through
efficient logistics.
Chitra is passionate about attracting
talent to the field of supply chain and
highlighting the excitement and
significance of being part of a process
that ensures timely and reliable
deliveries. She acknowledges the vast
efforts that happen behind the scenes to
deliver shipments intact and with a
smile, underscoring the critical role
supply chain professionals play in
keeping global commerce flowing.
Anticipating the changing landscape of
the workforce, Chitra is proactive in
preparing for the next generation's
preferences and expectations. Chitra
says, "I think there is going to be a big shift in
the next-gen coming through and how they will
want to work. We need to prepare for such a
shift." She envisions a shift in how they
approach work, possibly seeking more
flexibility and a different 'life-work'
approach.
As a leader, she emphasizes the need to
adapt to these changes, developing the
skills required to be emotionally aware,
culturally aware on a global scale,
humble, curious, tech-savvy, open-
minded, and constantly learning.
Chitra advocates Safety first, embracing
uncertainty, taking calculated risks and
learning from mistakes as vital
components of leadership in the ever-
changing world of supply chain
management. Her forward-thinking
approach ensures that she and her team
are equipped to navigate the challenges
and opportunities that lie ahead in the
industry.
As a dynamic leader, Chitra is
committed to building an inclusive,
dynamic and agile workforce that can
drive the future of supply chain logistics
with confidence.
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Tech-Drive
Implementing New-age
Technology to Enhance
Supply Chain Services
The supply chain is a critical part
of any business, as it
determines how efficiently and
effectively products can be produced
and delivered to customers. The advent
of new-age technologies has had a
major impact on the supply chain. These
technologies have unleashed a wave of
innovation, fundamentally transforming
the way supply chain services operate.
This article delves into the realm of technology-
driven advancements, exploring how businesses
are leveraging cutting-edge solutions to enhance
their supply chain services redefining efficiency
and customer satisfaction!
A Paradigm Shift
From Conventional to Connected
Embracing new-age technology marks a
pivotal shift from traditional supply
chain methods to a networked and
interconnected ecosystem. Technologies
like IoT, AI and blockchain create a
seamless flow of information, enabling
real-time visibility and data-driven
decisions.
Redefining Efficiency
Tech-driven supply chains optimize
processes, from demand forecasting to
inventory management. This results in
reduced lead times, minimized waste and
heightened responsiveness to market
fluctuations.
Harnessing the Power of Data
Intelligent Insights
Artificial Intelligence (AI) analyzes
immense data streams to extract
actionable insights. Predictive analytics
enhances decision-making, foreseeing
demand trends, optimizing routes and
mitigating risks.
IoT's Web of Connectivity
The Internet of Things (IoT)
interconnects devices, enabling real-time
monitoring of assets, shipments and
conditions. This connectivity minimizes
delays, prevents losses and ensures
product quality throughout the journey.
Blockchain's Transparent Trail
Immutable Transactions
Blockchain technology guarantees the
transparency and integrity of
transactions across the supply chain.
Smart contracts automate processes,
facilitating trust and reducing disputes.
End-to-End Traceability
Blockchain's distributed ledger offers
end-to-end traceability, assuring
consumers of product authenticity and
ethical sourcing. This is particularly vital
in industries like food and luxury goods.
Digital Twins
Mirror of Reality
Digital twins create virtual replicas of
physical assets and processes. They allow
businesses to simulate scenarios, predict
maintenance needs and optimize
operations before implementation.
Optimization and Innovation
By experimenting with different
| Aug 2023 |
27
configurations and strategies in the
digital realm, companies can identify the
most efficient solutions and implement
them with confidence.
Delivering on Customer
Expectations
E-commerce Evolution
The integration of e-commerce with
supply chains requires advanced
technologies to manage high order
volumes, personalized deliveries and
real-time tracking.
Last-mile Advancements
Drones, autonomous vehicles and smart
lockers are revolutionizing the last-mile
delivery experience. These technologies
streamline deliveries, minimize delays
and enhance customer satisfaction.
Streamlining Operations with
Precision
Robotic Workforce
Robotics and automation are
revolutionizing warehouses and
distribution centers. Autonomous robots
efficiently pick, pack and sort products,
reducing human error and labor costs.
Predictive Maintenance
Robotics equipped with sensors can
predict maintenance needs, reducing
downtime and ensuring continuous
operations. This proactive approach
minimizes disruptions and keeps supply
chains running smoothly.
Cloud Computing
On-demand Resources
Cloud computing provides scalable
resources, enabling supply chains to
handle fluctuating demand seamlessly.
This elasticity ensures that resources are
optimized without unnecessary
expenses.
Global Collaboration
Cloud-based platforms facilitate
collaboration among suppliers,
manufacturers, distributors and retailers
across different geographical locations.
Real-time data sharing enhances
communication and streamlines
operations.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Smart Warehousing
AR overlays digital information onto the
physical environment, guiding workers
through complex tasks. This reduces
training time, minimizes errors and
enhances overall efficiency.
Remote Assistance
AR enables experts to guide on-site
workers remotely, providing real-time
instructions through visual annotations.
This technology expedites problem-
solving and prevents costly delays.
Sustainable Supply Chains
Reducing Carbon Footprint
Technology helps optimize routes,
minimize fuel consumption and reduce
emissions in transportation. IoT-enabled
sensors track energy consumption,
allowing for data-driven energy-saving
measures.
Ethical Sourcing
Blockchain technology ensures
transparency in supply chains,
preventing unethical practices and
promoting responsible sourcing.
Consumers are increasingly valuing
products that adhere to sustainable and
ethical standards.
Challenges and Roadblocks
Integration Complexities
Implementing new-age technology
requires integrating systems that may
have been operating independently. This
process necessitates careful planning and
execution to prevent disruptions.
Skill Upgradation
The adoption of technology demands a
workforce with specialized skills.
Companies must invest in training
programs to ensure employees can
operate and optimize these advanced
systems.
The Evolution Continues
5G and Real-time Connectivity
The advent of 5G networks will enable
real-time connectivity, enhancing
communication across the supply chain
and enabling instant data sharing.
Edge Computing
Edge computing processes data closer to
the source, reducing latency. This
technology will be crucial for IoT
devices, allowing for quicker decision-
making.
Lessons from Disruptions
COVID-19 Impact
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed
vulnerabilities in global supply chains.
Tech-driven solutions, such as predictive
analytics and digital twins, helped
companies adapt to disruptions.
Resilience Building
Companies are now focusing on
building resilient supply chains that can
withstand shocks. Technology will play a
pivotal role in creating adaptable systems
capable of handling unforeseen
challenges.
| Aug 2023 |
28
www.thesiliconleaders.com
SUPPLY CHAIN IS LIKE
SUPPLY CHAIN IS LIKE
NATURE IT IS ALL
NATURE IT IS ALL
AROUND US
AROUND US
SUPPLY CHAIN IS LIKE
NATURE IT IS ALL
AROUND US
How do Leaders Define
Adeptness in Streamlining
Supply Chain Methods?
The new age of business demands
adaptation every step of the way,
and business being a vast realm,
supply chain management stands as a
critical cornerstone. Leaders play a
pivotal role in driving adaptations,
efficiencies and effectiveness within the
supply chain, which directly impacts
overall organizational success.
To be successful, supply chain leaders
must have a deep understanding of the
entire supply chain, from suppliers to
customers. They must also be able to
anticipate and adapt to changes in the
market, such as changes in demand or
new technologies. In addition to having
a strong technical understanding, supply
chain leaders must also be able to build
and maintain strong relationships with
suppliers and customers.
This article delves into the nuanced
understanding of how leaders define adeptness
in streamlining supply chain methods,
uncovering the knowledge and strategies that
underpin their success!
The Multifaceted Spectrum of
Supply Chain Adeptness
Holistic Vision
Adept leaders recognize that supply
chains are intricate ecosystems with
interconnected components. They
possess the foresight to view the entirety
of the process, identifying bottlenecks
and opportunities for optimization.
Customer-Centric Approach
Leaders prioritize meeting customer
demands with precision. Adeptness lies
in aligning supply chain methods to
deliver the right products, in the right
quantities, and at the right time,
enhancing customer satisfaction.
Agility in Adaptation
Rapid Response
Adept leaders excel in swiftly adapting
supply chain strategies to ever-changing
market dynamics. They leverage real-
time data and predictive analytics to
make informed decisions that keep the
supply chain agile.
Flexibility and Resilience
Adeptness is evident in the ability to
design supply chains that are flexible
enough to handle disruptions, whether
caused by natural disasters, geopolitical
shifts, or unexpected demand
fluctuations.
Leveraging Tools
Embracing Digital Transformation
Adept leaders harness the power of
technology to digitize and streamline
www.thesiliconleaders.com
Know-How
| Aug 2023 |
33
supply chain processes. Integration of
IoT, AI, and cloud computing enhances
visibility and automates routine tasks.
Data-Driven Decision-Making
Adeptness lies in extracting actionable
insights from the vast amounts of data
generated within the supply chain. These
leaders use analytics to inform strategies
and drive continuous improvements.
Unifying Stakeholders
Synchronized Efforts
Adept leaders foster collaboration
between departments, suppliers,
distributors, and customers. This
cohesive approach minimizes
information silos and enhances
communication, leading to smoother
operations.
End-to-End Partnership
Adeptness in supply chain leadership
extends beyond the organization's
borders. Leaders forge strong
partnerships with suppliers and logistics
providers, creating a unified network
that operates harmoniously.
Lean and Green
Optimization with Purpose
Adept leaders find the equilibrium
between efficiency and sustainability.
Lean practices reduce waste, while
sustainable initiatives reduce
environmental impact, creating a
resilient and responsible supply chain.
Circular Economy Integration
Leaders adept in supply chain methods
explore circular economy models, where
resources are reused, recycled, or
repurposed. This innovation not only
conserves resources but also creates new
revenue streams.
Employee Empowerment
Cross-functional Empowerment
Adept leaders recognize that supply
chain improvements can come from any
corner of the organization. They
encourage employees from different
departments to contribute insights and
ideas for optimization.
Training and Skill Development
Adeptness extends to fostering a culture
of learning. Leaders invest in training
programs that equip employees with the
skills needed to navigate new
technologies and processes effectively.
Mitigating Uncertainties with
Strategy
Risk Identification
Adept leaders anticipate potential
disruptions and uncertainties within the
supply chain. Their adeptness lies in
identifying these risks and understanding
their potential impact on operations.
Contingency Planning
Adeptness in risk management involves
developing contingency plans that
outline actions to be taken in the face of
disruptions. These plans ensure that the
supply chain can continue operating
smoothly even during adverse events.
Ethical Supply Chains
Supply Chain Transparency
Adept leaders acknowledge the
importance of ethical and transparent
supply chains. They ensure that every
stage of the supply chain adheres to
ethical standards, from sourcing raw
materials to the final delivery.
Social and Environmental Responsibility
Adeptness extends to addressing social
and environmental concerns. Leaders
make conscious efforts to minimize the
negative impact of supply chain
activities on communities and the planet.
Performance Metrics
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Adept leaders set clear KPIs that
measure the performance of the supply
chain. These metrics provide
quantifiable benchmarks for assessing
efficiency and identifying areas for
improvement.
Continuous Evaluation
Adeptness is reflected in the
commitment to ongoing evaluation.
Leaders regularly review supply chain
performance and adjust strategies based
on real-time data and feedback.
Conclusion
Adept leaders orchestrate supply chain
methods with a unique blend of
foresight, technological prowess,
collaboration, and sustainability. The
journey of adeptness in supply chain
leadership is an ongoing one. As
technologies continue to evolve and the
global landscape shifts, future leaders
will need to navigate new challenges.
The integration of AI-driven predictive
analytics, blockchain for enhanced
transparency, and the rise of
autonomous logistics vehicles are among
the exciting prospects that will redefine
supply chain adeptness in the years
ahead.
| Aug 2023 |
34
www.thesiliconleaders.com
THESILICONLEADERS
SIL CONLE DERS
THE
Excellence In The Spotlight
SL
T

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The Most Innovative Supply Chain Leader in 2023.pdf

  • 1. SIL CONLE DERS THE Tech-Drive Implemen ng New-age Technology to Enhance Supply Chain Services Know-How How do Leaders Define Adeptness in Streamlining Supply Chain Methods? Unleashing the Alchemist Within The Logis cs Industry Chitra Shinde VP Opera ons DHL Express The Most Innovative 2023 Leader in VOL -08 | ISSUE-02 | 2023
  • 2. Supply chain management is about managing relationships – it’s not just about moving boxes
  • 3.
  • 5. EIn the dynamic realm of business and commerce, the backbone of success lies in the meticulous orchestration of supply chains. Innovation is the heartbeat of progress, and in a world where seamless connectivity and real-time adaptability reign supreme, supply chain management stands at the forefront of transformation. Casting these fundamentals, we present to you this special feature of The Silicon Leaders, we shed the spotlight on The Most Innovative Supply Chain Leader in 2023. This issue dives deep into the strategies, technologies, and visionary mindset that has propelled our chosen leader to the zenith of supply chain excellence. From the pages that follow, you'll glean insights into groundbreaking approaches that redefine traditional logistics. We explore how this leader leverages cutting-edge technologies such as AI- driven predictive analytics, blockchain traceability, and IoT-powered real-time monitoring to create a network that's not only efficient but also agile enough to navigate the unforeseen disruptions that define our times. Beyond the realm of technology, this leader's commitment to sustainability sets a profound example. With environmental consciousness guiding their practices, they illustrate how responsible supply chain management can coexist with profitability. The pages ahead unravel stories of partnerships forged with suppliers and stakeholders, weaving a tapestry of collaboration that strengthens the entire ecosystem. But innovation is not merely about tools; it's a mindset that permeates the company culture. Chitra Shinde stands as a beacon of how fostering a culture of creativity and adaptability can unleash the potential of a workforce, nurturing ideas that revolutionize the status quo. As we celebrate this leader's remarkable achievements, we also reflect on the broader implications of their work. In an era marked by challenges that transcend borders, the world of supply chain management takes on a pivotal role in shaping global commerce, resilience, and continued efforts. AbhishekJoshi The Orchestration and DefiniteProgress
  • 6. C o n t e n t s Articles Tech-Drive Implemen ng New-age Technology to Enhance Supply Chain Services Know-How 27 33 How do Leaders Define Adeptness in Streamlining Supply Chain Methods?
  • 7. 08 Unleashing the Alchemist Within The Logis cs Industry Featuring
  • 8. Merry D'Souza Editor-in-Chief Deputy Editor Abhishek Joshi Executive Editor Muskan Kapoor Assistant Editor Anish Miller Visualizer David King Art & Design Director Revati Badkas Associate Designer Ankita Pandharpure Senior Sales Manager Sawant. N Marketing Manager John Matthew Technical Head Prachi Mokashi SME-SMO Executive Sagar Lahigade Business Development Manager Dave Morgan Sales Executives David, Akash Business Development Executives Steve, Joe Digital Marketing Manager Dominique T. Research Analyst Frank Adams Circulation Manager Robert Brown Database Management Stella Andrew Technology Consultant David Stokes contact@thesiliconleaders.com July, 2023 Copyright © 2023 The Silicon Leaders, All rights reserved. The content and images used in this magazine should not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission from The Silicon Leaders. Reprint rights remain solely with The Silicon Leaders. Follow us on https://www.facebook.com/TheSiliconLeaders/ We are also available on : SIL CONLE DERS THE Excellence In The Spotlight CREDITS
  • 9. SIL CONLE DERS THE awards this certificate to Chitra Shinde in recognition as for her resolute business acumen and significant expertise that is enabling new-age transformations in the supply chain niche. Marry D'Souza Editor-in-Chief 2023 2023 2023 The Most Innovative 2023 Leader in
  • 10. Unleashing the Alchemist Within The Logis cs Industry DHL has an exceptional training and development program for employees, which helped me develop the competence and the confidence to grow into my current role.
  • 12. The world of international commerce is a bustling one, with businesses constantly striving to stay connected with their customers across borders. In order to do this, they need to be able to deliver products quickly and reliably. This can be a challenge, as there are many factors that can affect the speed and reliability of international shipping, such as customs clearance, transit times and weather conditions. To deliver consistently great customer service, businesses need to have an expansive knowledge of their product, believe in the product, be able to discuss features and use cases in an insightful way and show the customers how the product can benefit them. They also need to respond quickly to customer queries. Also, businesses need to adapt their products to cultural differences, linguistic particularities, local expectations, purchasing power and habits and legal requirements to make their product accessible to people across markets. Transportation, logistics, supply chain and storage are all critical components of international commerce. Businesses need to be able to deliver products quickly and reliably to stay connected with their customers across borders. In this fast-paced environment where change is constant, Chitra Shinde stands at the forefront of driving transportation, logistics, supply chain and storage solutions for a global company DHL Express as the Vice President of Operations. As a trailblazer in the industry, Chitra spearheads efforts to continuously improve businesses' operations, delivering efficient and seamless solutions that help them thrive in today's competitive marketplace.
  • 13. At DHL Express, the commitment to customer success is unwavering. They believe in providing businesses with innovative ways to enhance its operations, whether it's streamlining shipping processes, optimizing supply chain efficiency, or exploring new markets for expansion. With decades of experience in shipping, logistics and eCommerce, DHL Express has built a vast international network covering more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. Chitra's expertise and visionary approach play a crucial role in maintaining DHL Express's position as a global leader in transportation and logistics. She understands the dynamic nature of the industry and is constantly exploring cutting-edge technologies and solutions to keep businesses connected and competitive. As an industry thought leader, Chitra is committed to DHL Express's privacy obligations of the highest standards, fostering trust and confidence in the customers. With a customer-centric mindset, she and her team work tirelessly to provide seamless and reliable solutions for businesses. In a world where time and efficiency are paramount, Chitra Shinde and DHL Express are the driving force behind businesses' success, connecting them with customers quickly, efficiently and with utmost reliability. With her dynamic leadership and passion for excellence, Chitra continues to shape the future of transportation, logistics, supply chain and storage services, enabling businesses to thrive in the global marketplace. Let's delve into how Chitra embarked on an Unstoppable Journey and discover the Future of Logistics at DHL Express! Charting Uncharted Waters Chitra's exciting journey began right after she completed her education. Eager to explore new horizons, she made the bold move to Bombay, the bustling metropolis. Her first step into the professional world led her to DHL Express, where she started as a Trainee in the logistics industry. At that time, the logistics sector was undergoing a remarkable transformation with the advent of automation, scalable software and cutting-edge processes. Chitra was fortunate enough to be at the forefront of this rapid growth, witnessing firsthand the innovations that were shaping the industry. Over the next fifteen years, Chitra's career took her across five different countries, offering her a truly global experience. She ventured into the terrains of Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand. Immersed in diverse cultures and work environments, Chitra gained invaluable experience, which would later prove instrumental in her career. After her enriching stint overseas, Chitra felt the call to return to her homeland, India, to be closer to her parents. She joined Gati Limited and took on key roles, where she proved her mettle as Chief Business Chain Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and President and Board member for Gati – KWE. However, Chitra's heart was drawn back to the international stage, and she was thrilled to rejoin the esteemed DHL Express, renowned globally as the No. 1 Great Place to Work. Embracing a new opportunity, she stepped into the position of Customer Operations Group Manager and later Senior Director Gateways in Australia where she continued to excel. I was mobile and loved to travel and with DHL being present in 220 countries & territories-this was the drawcard
  • 14. With her unwavering dedication and perseverance, Chitra rose to her current role as Vice President of Operations in New Zealand. Throughout her journey, DHL's exceptional training and development program coupled with a culture of feedback, played a crucial role in honing her skills and confidence, enabling her to flourish in her current position. Chitra's career choices were not always directed solely towards vertical growth. She made mindful decisions to explore various roles and locations, which exposed her to a myriad of opportunities and cultures. This approach instilled in her a sense of humility and a balanced perspective on her career, personal responsibilities, parenting and living a fulfilling life. Through her experiences, Chitra learned the value of collaboration and surrounded herself with brilliant minds, enriching her professional acumen. With a holistic approach to life, she embraced the challenges and rewards that came her way, growing both as a professional and as an individual. Igniting the Spark When Chitra joined DHL Express as a trainee, her knowledge of the supply chain was limited to sales and distribution management, particularly in the traditional FMCG industry's (she mentions it traditional non-technical way) methods of reaching remote corners of rural India. However, her role at DHL provided her with a unique opportunity to delve deep into the world of express distribution. Chitra gained a comprehensive understanding of the entire supply chain, from demand planning to last-mile delivery and reverse logistics. Explaining the same, she says, "From demand planning through to last mile and reverse logistics." The world of operations fascinated her with its dynamic nature, involving design, motion, location, cost optimization, and strategic planning. Over time, supply chain has evolved significantly, progressing from ancient trade routes that took months to modern engineering, transportation, technology, JIT Manufacturing, Automation, Blockchain, AI, The recent global pandemic and Suez Canal blockage exposed that a 'crises' on an unprecedented scale without warning, exposed the frailty of supply chains.
  • 15. Robotics and Big Data analytics. The ever-changing landscape of the industry intrigued Chitra and she relished the challenges it presented. With determination, Chitra learned to plan, organize and execute effectively. Embracing the value of teamwork, she leveraged the strengths of those around her and developed her skills in collaborative settings. She mentions, "I was mobile and loved to travel and with DHL being present in 220 countries & territories- this was the drawcard." This love for travel found a perfect match with DHL's global presence, which further enriched her experience by exposing her to different cultures. Chitra's dedication and hard work did not go unnoticed. She actively sought out opportunities and volunteered to lead projects, investing in her personal development. As she grew in competence, the organization entrusted her with higher responsibilities, which sometimes pushed her out of her comfort zone. To this, she states, "Sometimes I found myself stretched and other times I felt I was in my comfort zone." It was during these challenging moments that Chitra realized true growth comes from embracing discomfort and maintaining a positive attitude. At DHL Express, the pandemic posed a significant obstacle as they lost access to passenger flights almost overnight, which played a crucial role in the Oceania network. In response, the company quickly chartered several passenger flights while rerouting and repositioning its network. Additionally, they had recently added more B777 aircraft to their fleet, which allowed for alternative routing to feed into an expanded intercontinental network. This adaptation ensured that DHL Express could continue to keep the world connected by transporting urgent medical supplies, lifesaving equipment and vaccines during a time of heightened demand. She mentions, "This lack of air capacity resulted in unprecedented demand. Locally we were able to leverage the strengths of our DHL group companies DHL Supply Chain and DHL Forwarding to provide us access to their networks and seamlessly cater to this additional demand so we could flex upward and retract when the demand tapered off.” She mentions, "I faced tough situations that molded me into the person I am today." Reflecting on her adventure, she recognized the guidance and trust she received from incredible mentors and leaders who provided valuable feedback and invested in her growth and her as a person. In hindsight, Chitra's career path has been nothing short of remarkable. She cherishes the great adventure she embarked on and her experiences have shaped her into a capable and resilient professional. Chitra remains grateful for the support and encouragement she received from exceptional individuals who played a vital role in her journey of growth and success. Turning Mountains into Molehills The recent global pandemic and the unexpected blockage of the Suez Canal exposed the vulnerabilities of supply chains on an unprecedented scale. Chitra, working at DHL Express, witnessed firsthand the challenges that arose during this crisis. Businesses struggled to source the products, faced extensive delays and dealt with soaring costs.
  • 16. physical distancing measures, staying true to the DHL Group's purpose of 'Connecting People, Improving Lives.' Remarkably, DHL Express in New Zealand managed to avoid any COVID- 19 cases until the emergence of the Omicron variant in early 2022. Earlier this year, Chitra and her team faced devastating floods that affected parts of the country. Roads were washed away, cutting off access to certain areas. In response, DHL Express quickly found alternative routes to reach its personnel, restore connectivity and provide essential supplies. They prioritized resuming operations swiftly, being the first to reopen its operations. In one instance during the Auckland floods, DHL made quick decisions to divert its flight operations from CHC to Australia to restrict the impact to the North Island and maintain connections to the South Island. The whole process required swift coordination among In New Zealand, the challenges were further compounded as the domestic commercial passenger air network was also disrupted. DHL Express made bold investments and introduced its own flight to connect the South Island to Auckland. From these major hubs, they were able to use road networks to reach all domestic locations, maintaining vital connections. Chitra also says, "From Auckland and Christchurch, we could connect to all domestic locations via Road. It was an intense time of unprecedented change, creativity and innovation to ensure that our customers were not impacted and could rely on us for their own business continuity.” Throughout these trying times, the DHL Express operations teams remained resilient as an essential service provider. Despite the hardships of lockdowns, they worked diligently while adhering to multiple players and external providers, and communication was done primarily through group chats to expedite decision-making. Amidst these challenges, her team demonstrated remarkable resilience, creativity and innovation to ensure the customers were not adversely affected and could rely on DHL Express for business continuity. The ability to adapt, think on the feet and swiftly implement solutions has been a testament to its commitment to excellence and customer service. Weaving the Threads of Efficiency As the head of operations at DHL Express, Chitra's role revolves around executing the company's Global Strategy at the local level. Her primary focus is on motivating and developing a team of certified international specialists who are
  • 17. dedicated to delivering the best service to customers. Chitra strongly believes in fostering a culture of inclusivity and collaboration, making DHL Express a Great Place to Work for all employees. To ensure the success of its operations, she actively seeks input from various stakeholders, including the workforce, leaders, the voice of the business and most importantly, the voice of its customers. One of Chitra's key responsibilities is to make strategic decisions related to the design of its network and infrastructure. To do this effectively, she analyzes projected growth and emerging trends that may impact local operations over the next decade. For instance, she is keen on expanding DHL's network reach into regional areas, harnessing global initiatives in Digitalization and machine learning technology to improve scalability and efficiency. As a market leader, DHL Express takes its responsibility in environmental, social, compliance and governance matters seriously. The company has set ambitious goals, including achieving Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 and having 60% electric vehicles in the first and last-mile operations by 2030. Chitra is confident that they will surpass this aspiration. To reduce its carbon footprint, DHL Express has already invested in more fuel-efficient aircraft like B777s and is purchasing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). She is particularly enthusiastic about the prospects of electric light aircraft, like the Alice model, for shorter distances and payload, given New Zealand's green energy advantage. In line with the environmental commitment, DHL Express has converted to LED lighting for energy consumption reduction. Going a step further, all new buildings will be Despite the hardships of lockdowns, the company worked diligently while adhering to physical distancing measures, staying true to DHL's purpose of 'Connecting People, Improving Lives.
  • 18. Operations has evolved from the ancient trade routes that took months of travel through tough terrain, to the modern world of jets, engineering, transportation, technology, JIT manufacturing, automation, blockchain, AI, Robotics and big data analytics.
  • 19. The Ace up the Sleeve During the pandemic, Chitra faced unprecedented challenges as the volume of shipments at DHL Express surged dramatically due to prolonged movement restrictions in and out of Auckland. Overnight, the volume doubled, exceeding the company's then capacity and requiring them to extend into after-hours delivery, a common practice during peak periods. To cope with the sudden increase in volume, her team swiftly built data integration with a sister company within a week. This integration allowed DHL Express to tap into its sister company's network, which could flex additional capacity. In the express delivery business, data visibility of shipment movement is as crucial as the actual delivery itself, as everything is time- sensitive. The IT teams worked diligently to provide a solution that would typically take months, showcasing dedication and efficiency. Furthermore, the pandemic led to a significant increase in clearance requirements. Fortunately, another sister company had the capability to scale up clearance through its network, which DHL Express could leverage. This collaboration not only provided the much-needed scale at short notice but also kept the additional expenses within the DHL group, resulting in a win-win situation. Chitra's approach to problem-solving is straightforward but effective. When presented with an idea or a challenge from someone on her team, she strives to find a compelling reason to say yes. She encourages an environment where team members feel confident sharing ideas, knowing that Chitra will consider them seriously. Actively listening and looking out for ideas, especially from the frontline, leaders, peers, managers, customers, and her own team, have led to the discovery of many great solutions. Although implementing some of these solutions can take months or even years, Chitra values and hangs onto good ideas. To ensure successful problem-solving, Chitra links solutions to customer experience, seeking ways to make it a better experience for those who drive customer satisfaction. She avoids wasting time on critiquing ideas and instead encourages others to challenge and scrutinize them. The goal is to avoid mistakes and thoroughly test the ideas before implementation. Chitra often asks questions like, 'Why might this fail?' and encourages her team to share individual perspectives and identify potential blind spots. Through her thoughtful and inclusive problem-solving approach, Chitra empowers her team to think creatively, fosters a culture of innovation and ensures that DHL Express can adapt swiftly to unexpected challenges and changing circumstances. Building Bridges to Tomorrow Within the company, Chitra is a strong advocate for fostering innovation at multiple levels. She recognizes that innovation can emerge from different sources, including bottom-up initiatives from employees through campfires and suggestions to improve processes or experiences. Additionally, top-down innovation occurs through enhancements in software and the adoption of available technologies. Furthermore, external factors can also drive the need for innovation within the company. All three approaches are equally vital and contribute to the culture of innovation at DHL. powered by 100% solar energy, allowing them not only to save energy but also to generate their own. With the expected increase in demand for electricity as more companies and individuals adopt electric vehicles, self-sufficiency in energy generation becomes crucial. Chitra acknowledges the challenge of converting existing buildings to solar energy, but she believes it is achievable. Looking into the future, Chitra is optimistic about advancements in technology that will make renewable energy more affordable and accessible. Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and solar Photovoltaics elements used in windows and roofs are expected to improve overall energy efficiency. Additionally, developments in battery technology will enable economical and effective storage of solar-generated energy, reducing dependence on the power grid. DHL Express aims to be at the forefront of these advancements along with continuously making small incremental changes to reduce its carbon footprint and make a positive impact on sustainability. With a commitment to sustainability, DHL Express also offers green carbon offset and inset products to its customers. It has increased internal reporting and visibility of its carbon footprint, enabling the company to make informed decisions to drive sustainability efforts. Chitra hopes that her experiences and DHL's initiatives will inspire other companies in the industry and communities to embrace sustainability practices. She reviews internal best demonstrated practises and external case studies such as being inspired by one in Bangladesh where an entire village functions on affordable solar panels, with excess energy being shared within the community to generate income. We are Stronger Together.
  • 20. Chitra is particularly passionate about continuous improvement, appreciating the sense of control it provides. She believes that both internal and external innovation can complement this approach, leading to the creation of best practices. By embracing continuous improvement, DHL fosters a culture of elevating a great team to even greater heights, a concept they refer to as 'First Choice.' This structured methodology is based on Sigma and Lean principles and empowers DHL employees to drive sustainable improvements using various tools. Some of the tools employed by Chitra and her team include DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control), PDCA (Plan Do Check Act), APW (Action Plan Worksheet), ImpAct (Improvement Action), SIPOC (Supplier Input Process Output Customer mapping), Effort Benefit Matrix, Fishbone, 5S, GEMBA, Performance Dialogue, Stakeholder mapping, AS is and TO BE Backward imaging, and Stop Start Continue and a strong Communications Plan. These tools facilitate a systematic and inclusive problem-solving process, encouraging multiple team members to collaborate in During the Auckland floods earlier this year, we diverted our flight to operate from CHC to Australia to minimize the impact to just the North Island and maintain connectivity to the South.
  • 21. finding the best solutions and, more importantly, sustaining them over time. Chitra's dedication to continuous improvement is evident through her pursuit of certifications within DHL's program. She takes pride in being a Master Gold, Advisor Bronze and Accelerated Change and Transition (ACT) Bronze. She is actively working towards achieving additional certifications, such as Advisor Silver, and ACT Silver. By acquiring these certifications, Chitra exemplifies the importance of structured and inclusive problem-solving methodologies, where multiple team members are involved in the decision-making and execution process. As a leader, Chitra relies heavily on data analysis to prioritize problems and identify clear priorities. She understands that not every issue carries the same level of importance and data analysis helps her allocate resources and efforts effectively. By championing innovation and continuous improvement, Chitra contributes significantly to the growth and success of DHL Express, ensuring that the company remains at the forefront of excellence and efficiency in the logistics industry. Taking the Bull by the Horns In the logistics industry, the issue of carbon emissions has garnered significant attention due to the inherent nature of the services provided. As sustainability becomes a paramount concern, Chitra recognizes the importance of striving for carbon neutrality not only for DHL Express but also for the benefit of other industries. She believes that government mandates and subsidies will play a crucial role in determining the pace of this transition, especially for smaller companies. Embracing technology, AI, automation and robotics will be vital in driving efficiencies and reducing the industry's carbon footprint. Chitra envisions a future where transparency and visibility across the entire logistics value chain will improve, benefiting multiple stakeholders. With the right technological advancements, collaboration on environmental matters will increase, allowing for more sustainable practices. Security and protection of individual information privacy will remain a priority, even as information access and collaboration are enhanced. As the world's population is projected to reach 8.5 billion by 2030, the urbanization of tier 2 and 3 cities could be a consequence of the challenges faced by overcrowded, larger cities. Logistics will play a critical role in connecting and facilitating transportation to and from these emerging cities, contributing to their growth and development. The workforce landscape is also expected to undergo significant changes. By 2030, Gen Z will dominate the workforce and influence the way businesses operate. Chitra recognizes that this generation is more attuned to sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion. Consequently, upskilling and inducting new team members will be essential and needs to be done at a faster pace. Training and development programs will need to teach skills quickly and ensure practical application even. Future of work will evolve through their need to change industries or vocations, choose employers and their own availability for work to be based on their other interests at the time. In this evolving landscape, Chitra remains committed to ensuring that DHL Express is easy to work with, flexible, trustworthy and genuinely cares about its people and the communities it serves. By embracing sustainability and technological advancements, the company aims to be at the forefront of industry leaders, providing efficient and environmentally conscious logistics solutions. As a visionary leader, she remains dedicated to positioning DHL Express for success in a rapidly changing world, driven by the values of sustainability, inclusivity and innovation. The Gold Standard Safety First, Quality and Compliance is deeply ingrained in Chitra's mindset and the culture she fosters within DHL Express. For her, it is a non-negotiable aspect of the company's operations. Chitra firmly believes in accepting nothing but the best, and she endeavors to instill this culture throughout the organization. When these are in our DNA, the people naturally do not compromise on it. It becomes the guiding principle that influences every aspect of work. Operational efficiency is another crucial focus for Chitra and her team. They continuously strive to improve processes, seeking ways to do things better and faster. The goal is to remain competitive in pricing and, more importantly, deliver enhanced benefits to its customers. Chitra emphasizes that operational efficiency is not merely about incremental improvement; it often requires doing things differently to achieve significant gains in productivity. This might involve changing processes, eliminating unnecessary activities, reducing waste, or embracing automation. To achieve true optimization, her team make it a priority to make the best possible use of available resources.
  • 22. When faced with multiple options, they carefully evaluate each one to select the approach that yields the best outcomes and positive gains. Standardization plays a significant role in ensuring consistent quality across DHL's operations. Having set optimal methods and work rates for tasks, the company employs expert verification processes to validate and maintain quality standards. Chitra recognizes the importance of understanding processes thoroughly. Without a deep understanding, it becomes challenging to identify areas for improvement and remove non-value- adding elements. Observation based methods evaluation can lead to discovering additional training needs, which helps the team grow and perform more efficiently. At DHL Express, teamwork and collective results are highly valued. Chitra emphasizes that individual capabilities may differ, but the focus remains on achieving success through teamwork and collaborative efforts. Anticipating customer demand and staying one step ahead of it is a key strategy for DHL. Proactive planning ensures they are well-prepared to meet customer expectations and deliver exceptional service. Through her commitment to quality, operational efficiency and optimization, Chitra leads by example, setting high standards for DHL Express. Her visionary approach and dedication to continuous improvement contribute to the company's success as a leader in the logistics industry. Greening the Path Sustainability is at the forefront of Chitra's priorities at DHL Express. The company recently introduced its innovative GoGreen Plus service, setting a milestone as the first global express courier to offer customers the option to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to reduce emissions. When customers select GoGreen Plus, DHL Express takes action to reduce transport-related carbon emissions for that shipment by investing in SAF, effectively lowering the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its shipments. In addition to the SAF initiative, DHL Express is actively working on other sustainability projects. They will increase local E-vehicles for last-mile delivery. Furthermore, the company has committed to constructing Green buildings in the new Christchurch Gateway by 2025, and they have several pipeline infrastructure projects in Auckland and Wellington To reduce power consumption and promote sustainability within its operations, DHL Express has adopted LED lighting technology. The company also prioritizes educating its employees
  • 23. on sustainability and how as individuals we can contribute to these efforts. The company actively engages with the community through initiatives such as tree planting, community clean-ups and recycling waste, including repurposing uniforms and fabrics. Chitra and DHL Express actively seek partnerships with companies that have a positive social impact on sustainability in local communities. By engaging its employees through education, practice and certification programs, DHL Express encourages a collective effort toward sustainability. Chitra takes pride in her personal commitment to the cause, having made significant changes in her consumption habits over the past four years. She views sustainability as a continuous journey and goals we can set to reduce our negative impact on the planet. With Chitra's leadership and DHL Express' dedication to sustainability, the company is making significant strides in reducing its environmental impact and setting an example for the logistics industry. By embracing sustainability as a core value, DHL Express is contributing to a better and more sustainable future for the planet and the communities it serves. High-Tech Harmony Chitra and the team at DHL Express have harnessed the power of technology to proactively monitor its shipments and improve customer experience. They use innovative solutions, including machine learning-based systems, to automatically notify customers to choose their OnDemand delivery options and some types of delays related to customs clearance. This enables customers to provide the necessary information and, if required, seek assistance from DHL. They are starting to see a gradual shift in preference from customers using chat bot and digital assistant and email over calling. To drive continuous innovation and improvement, DHL Express has dedicated innovation centers and collaborates with external experts in various fields such as mechanical and process automation, software development and research and development. By partnering with experts, they ensure that the solutions they create are tailored to the specific needs and challenges. The company primarily relies on its standard suite of applications to implement these innovative solutions. However, when addressing local needs, they adopt the 'campfire method,' exploring existing solutions that have successfully solved similar challenges and replicating them if applicable. In cases where no existing solution fits, they may seek external solutions or develop in-house changes to meet the requirements. Training and coaching are essential components of these deployments, as they empower employees to effectively use the new technologies and processes. The feedback and change requests received from users play a vital role in the continuous evolution of DHL Express's applications, ensuring that they remain responsive to the dynamic needs of the customers and operations. Despite the hardships of lockdowns, they worked diligently while adhering to physical distancing measures, staying true to DHL's purpose of Connecting People, Improving Lives.
  • 24. With a combined proactive approach to technology and innovation, DHL Express continue to set industry standards in logistics, delivering efficient and customer-centric services through the strategic use of technology and continuous improvement. From Seed to Blossom Chitra and DHL Express are committed to developing talent from within the organization, making significant investments in training and development. They foster a culture that emphasizes both motivational feedbacks to build confidence and developmental feedback to enhance competence. To ensure a strong foundation of knowledge, all employees undergo the Certified International Specialist Foundation program, which familiarizes them with the company and its respective functions. Leaders at DHL Express are provided with specialized training, such as the Successful 21st Century Manager program and Coaching program. Supervisors, too, benefit from the Certified Supervisory program. Chitra and other senior leaders take an active role in nurturing upcoming leaders, personally conducting training sessions that span 2-3 days and can extend from 18 months to 2 years. This investment in leadership development reinforces a culture of teamwork and high performance within the organization. The company places great emphasis on internal mobility, offering employees opportunities to apply for roles within the organization. The goal is to have at least three strong internal candidates ready for each position. If specific specialist skills are not locally available, they leverage talent from other countries or group companies. DHL Express also runs graduate and undergraduate intake programs in various countries, attracting fresh talent to contribute to its future success. Individual Development Plans (IDPs) play a pivotal role in employee growth. These plans are carefully crafted based on assessment centers, development centers, leadership attributes, competency assessments, 360-degree feedback, and self-identified skills or training needs. The organization reviews succession plans annually for each role, identifying potential successors to ensure a strong pipeline of leaders for the future. DHL Express provides a range of learning opportunities, including access to online learning platforms, company- sponsored tertiary educational programs and mentoring initiatives. They encourage employees to take on short- term assignments or secondment opportunities to gain valuable experiences and exposure. Globally, DHL Express is continually exploring ways to leverage technology to modernize and tailor individual development needs, striving to create an even better employee experience. With a strategic and intentional approach to talent development, they ensure a pool of skilled and capable leaders not only for the company but also for the broader logistics industry. Outpacing the Rest Chitra understands that the foundation of DHL Express's success lies in its people. The company places a significant emphasis on investing in the motivation and development of its workforce, recognizing that they are the driving force behind the delivery of exceptional service quality. This customer-centric approach fosters loyalty among customers, resulting in sustained profitability for the company. With a continuous improvement mindset, DHL Express continually evaluates its performance and identifies opportunities for enhancement. By proactively preparing and investing in the network, affectionately referred to as the 'big yellow machine,' they create a competitive advantage in the market. Being open and approachable to customer feedback is a key aspect of the service philosophy. Customer input is valued and used as a means to improve its operations continually. The company has established a robust customer services team, recognized with awards for excellence, which sets a standard of exceptional service delivery. This commitment to excellence resonates throughout DHL Express, making it a leading player in the logistics industry. DHL Express pride themselves on living and embodying the principles of excellence in every aspect of its operations. By continually striving to deliver the best service possible, they ensure that its customers' needs are met and expectations exceeded. The company's unwavering focus on people, network investment and customer- centric approach serves as the foundation for its success as they remain dedicated to its motto of ‘Excellence. Simply delivered.’ Leaping into the Future In the fast-paced world of information overload and time demands, Chitra takes a proactive approach to staying informed and continuously learning. As a practice, she diligently reads internal communications, paying particular attention to messages from global and regional leadership. This ensures that she stays up-to-date with the latest developments and strategies within the company.
  • 25. The company's unwavering focus on people, network investment and a customer-centric approach serves as the foundation for its success as they remain dedicated to the motto of ‘Excellence. Simply delivered.’
  • 26. In addition to internal communications, Chitra also keeps herself abreast of industry trends and topics. Her regional operations head shares key media topics related to the logistics industry, allowing her to gain insights into broader industry happenings. To further expand her knowledge and insights, Chitra makes use of valuable resources available to her. She regularly reads book summaries on leadership and management developments from reputable sources such as getAbstract, Wharton and Harvard Business Review. By leveraging these summaries, she can stay informed about the latest ideas and best practices in leadership and management. Furthermore, Chitra actively seeks inspiration from successful leaders whom she can learn from. By following their achievements and experiences, she gains valuable perspectives and insights that contribute to her own growth as a leader. Chitra also believes in the importance of learning from colleagues and customers. Engaging with them allows her to understand different industries, gain valuable feedback and identify potential opportunities for improvement or innovation. By staying well-informed and continuously learning from diverse sources, Chitra ensures that she remains agile, adaptable and well-equipped to navigate the dynamic landscape of the logistics industry. Her commitment to ongoing learning is a testament to her dedication to personal and professional growth, making her a valuable asset to DHL Express and a role model for her team. A New Dawn in Logistics Chitra says, “I would not call myself an alchemist.” humbly describing herself as a “Student of supply chain,’’ constantly seeking to expand her knowledge and leverage the information she possesses in her current role while preparing for more complex challenges ahead. Recognizing the importance of supply chain expertise across the group companies, she values how it aids interactions with customers and regulators, ultimately contributing to keeping the world connected through efficient logistics. Chitra is passionate about attracting talent to the field of supply chain and highlighting the excitement and significance of being part of a process that ensures timely and reliable deliveries. She acknowledges the vast efforts that happen behind the scenes to deliver shipments intact and with a smile, underscoring the critical role supply chain professionals play in keeping global commerce flowing. Anticipating the changing landscape of the workforce, Chitra is proactive in preparing for the next generation's preferences and expectations. Chitra says, "I think there is going to be a big shift in the next-gen coming through and how they will want to work. We need to prepare for such a shift." She envisions a shift in how they approach work, possibly seeking more flexibility and a different 'life-work' approach. As a leader, she emphasizes the need to adapt to these changes, developing the skills required to be emotionally aware, culturally aware on a global scale, humble, curious, tech-savvy, open- minded, and constantly learning. Chitra advocates Safety first, embracing uncertainty, taking calculated risks and learning from mistakes as vital components of leadership in the ever- changing world of supply chain management. Her forward-thinking approach ensures that she and her team are equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the industry. As a dynamic leader, Chitra is committed to building an inclusive, dynamic and agile workforce that can drive the future of supply chain logistics with confidence.
  • 27. Subscription Global Spotlighting the Icons of Brilliance Stay in touch Subscribe to The Silicon Leaders: Your Gateway to a World of Knowledge and Creativity! Spotlighting the Icons of Brilliance
  • 29. Implementing New-age Technology to Enhance Supply Chain Services The supply chain is a critical part of any business, as it determines how efficiently and effectively products can be produced and delivered to customers. The advent of new-age technologies has had a major impact on the supply chain. These technologies have unleashed a wave of innovation, fundamentally transforming the way supply chain services operate. This article delves into the realm of technology- driven advancements, exploring how businesses are leveraging cutting-edge solutions to enhance their supply chain services redefining efficiency and customer satisfaction! A Paradigm Shift From Conventional to Connected Embracing new-age technology marks a pivotal shift from traditional supply chain methods to a networked and interconnected ecosystem. Technologies like IoT, AI and blockchain create a seamless flow of information, enabling real-time visibility and data-driven decisions. Redefining Efficiency Tech-driven supply chains optimize processes, from demand forecasting to inventory management. This results in reduced lead times, minimized waste and heightened responsiveness to market fluctuations. Harnessing the Power of Data Intelligent Insights Artificial Intelligence (AI) analyzes immense data streams to extract actionable insights. Predictive analytics enhances decision-making, foreseeing demand trends, optimizing routes and mitigating risks. IoT's Web of Connectivity The Internet of Things (IoT) interconnects devices, enabling real-time monitoring of assets, shipments and conditions. This connectivity minimizes delays, prevents losses and ensures product quality throughout the journey. Blockchain's Transparent Trail Immutable Transactions Blockchain technology guarantees the transparency and integrity of transactions across the supply chain. Smart contracts automate processes, facilitating trust and reducing disputes. End-to-End Traceability Blockchain's distributed ledger offers end-to-end traceability, assuring consumers of product authenticity and ethical sourcing. This is particularly vital in industries like food and luxury goods. Digital Twins Mirror of Reality Digital twins create virtual replicas of physical assets and processes. They allow businesses to simulate scenarios, predict maintenance needs and optimize operations before implementation. Optimization and Innovation By experimenting with different | Aug 2023 | 27
  • 30. configurations and strategies in the digital realm, companies can identify the most efficient solutions and implement them with confidence. Delivering on Customer Expectations E-commerce Evolution The integration of e-commerce with supply chains requires advanced technologies to manage high order volumes, personalized deliveries and real-time tracking. Last-mile Advancements Drones, autonomous vehicles and smart lockers are revolutionizing the last-mile delivery experience. These technologies streamline deliveries, minimize delays and enhance customer satisfaction. Streamlining Operations with Precision Robotic Workforce Robotics and automation are revolutionizing warehouses and distribution centers. Autonomous robots efficiently pick, pack and sort products, reducing human error and labor costs. Predictive Maintenance Robotics equipped with sensors can predict maintenance needs, reducing downtime and ensuring continuous operations. This proactive approach minimizes disruptions and keeps supply chains running smoothly. Cloud Computing On-demand Resources Cloud computing provides scalable resources, enabling supply chains to handle fluctuating demand seamlessly. This elasticity ensures that resources are optimized without unnecessary expenses. Global Collaboration Cloud-based platforms facilitate collaboration among suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers across different geographical locations. Real-time data sharing enhances communication and streamlines operations. Augmented Reality (AR) Smart Warehousing AR overlays digital information onto the physical environment, guiding workers through complex tasks. This reduces training time, minimizes errors and enhances overall efficiency. Remote Assistance AR enables experts to guide on-site workers remotely, providing real-time instructions through visual annotations. This technology expedites problem- solving and prevents costly delays. Sustainable Supply Chains Reducing Carbon Footprint Technology helps optimize routes, minimize fuel consumption and reduce emissions in transportation. IoT-enabled sensors track energy consumption, allowing for data-driven energy-saving measures. Ethical Sourcing Blockchain technology ensures transparency in supply chains, preventing unethical practices and promoting responsible sourcing. Consumers are increasingly valuing products that adhere to sustainable and ethical standards. Challenges and Roadblocks Integration Complexities Implementing new-age technology requires integrating systems that may have been operating independently. This process necessitates careful planning and execution to prevent disruptions. Skill Upgradation The adoption of technology demands a workforce with specialized skills. Companies must invest in training programs to ensure employees can operate and optimize these advanced systems. The Evolution Continues 5G and Real-time Connectivity The advent of 5G networks will enable real-time connectivity, enhancing communication across the supply chain and enabling instant data sharing. Edge Computing Edge computing processes data closer to the source, reducing latency. This technology will be crucial for IoT devices, allowing for quicker decision- making. Lessons from Disruptions COVID-19 Impact The COVID-19 pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains. Tech-driven solutions, such as predictive analytics and digital twins, helped companies adapt to disruptions. Resilience Building Companies are now focusing on building resilient supply chains that can withstand shocks. Technology will play a pivotal role in creating adaptable systems capable of handling unforeseen challenges. | Aug 2023 | 28 www.thesiliconleaders.com
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  • 33. SUPPLY CHAIN IS LIKE SUPPLY CHAIN IS LIKE NATURE IT IS ALL NATURE IT IS ALL AROUND US AROUND US SUPPLY CHAIN IS LIKE NATURE IT IS ALL AROUND US
  • 34. How do Leaders Define Adeptness in Streamlining Supply Chain Methods? The new age of business demands adaptation every step of the way, and business being a vast realm, supply chain management stands as a critical cornerstone. Leaders play a pivotal role in driving adaptations, efficiencies and effectiveness within the supply chain, which directly impacts overall organizational success. To be successful, supply chain leaders must have a deep understanding of the entire supply chain, from suppliers to customers. They must also be able to anticipate and adapt to changes in the market, such as changes in demand or new technologies. In addition to having a strong technical understanding, supply chain leaders must also be able to build and maintain strong relationships with suppliers and customers. This article delves into the nuanced understanding of how leaders define adeptness in streamlining supply chain methods, uncovering the knowledge and strategies that underpin their success! The Multifaceted Spectrum of Supply Chain Adeptness Holistic Vision Adept leaders recognize that supply chains are intricate ecosystems with interconnected components. They possess the foresight to view the entirety of the process, identifying bottlenecks and opportunities for optimization. Customer-Centric Approach Leaders prioritize meeting customer demands with precision. Adeptness lies in aligning supply chain methods to deliver the right products, in the right quantities, and at the right time, enhancing customer satisfaction. Agility in Adaptation Rapid Response Adept leaders excel in swiftly adapting supply chain strategies to ever-changing market dynamics. They leverage real- time data and predictive analytics to make informed decisions that keep the supply chain agile. Flexibility and Resilience Adeptness is evident in the ability to design supply chains that are flexible enough to handle disruptions, whether caused by natural disasters, geopolitical shifts, or unexpected demand fluctuations. Leveraging Tools Embracing Digital Transformation Adept leaders harness the power of technology to digitize and streamline www.thesiliconleaders.com
  • 36. supply chain processes. Integration of IoT, AI, and cloud computing enhances visibility and automates routine tasks. Data-Driven Decision-Making Adeptness lies in extracting actionable insights from the vast amounts of data generated within the supply chain. These leaders use analytics to inform strategies and drive continuous improvements. Unifying Stakeholders Synchronized Efforts Adept leaders foster collaboration between departments, suppliers, distributors, and customers. This cohesive approach minimizes information silos and enhances communication, leading to smoother operations. End-to-End Partnership Adeptness in supply chain leadership extends beyond the organization's borders. Leaders forge strong partnerships with suppliers and logistics providers, creating a unified network that operates harmoniously. Lean and Green Optimization with Purpose Adept leaders find the equilibrium between efficiency and sustainability. Lean practices reduce waste, while sustainable initiatives reduce environmental impact, creating a resilient and responsible supply chain. Circular Economy Integration Leaders adept in supply chain methods explore circular economy models, where resources are reused, recycled, or repurposed. This innovation not only conserves resources but also creates new revenue streams. Employee Empowerment Cross-functional Empowerment Adept leaders recognize that supply chain improvements can come from any corner of the organization. They encourage employees from different departments to contribute insights and ideas for optimization. Training and Skill Development Adeptness extends to fostering a culture of learning. Leaders invest in training programs that equip employees with the skills needed to navigate new technologies and processes effectively. Mitigating Uncertainties with Strategy Risk Identification Adept leaders anticipate potential disruptions and uncertainties within the supply chain. Their adeptness lies in identifying these risks and understanding their potential impact on operations. Contingency Planning Adeptness in risk management involves developing contingency plans that outline actions to be taken in the face of disruptions. These plans ensure that the supply chain can continue operating smoothly even during adverse events. Ethical Supply Chains Supply Chain Transparency Adept leaders acknowledge the importance of ethical and transparent supply chains. They ensure that every stage of the supply chain adheres to ethical standards, from sourcing raw materials to the final delivery. Social and Environmental Responsibility Adeptness extends to addressing social and environmental concerns. Leaders make conscious efforts to minimize the negative impact of supply chain activities on communities and the planet. Performance Metrics Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Adept leaders set clear KPIs that measure the performance of the supply chain. These metrics provide quantifiable benchmarks for assessing efficiency and identifying areas for improvement. Continuous Evaluation Adeptness is reflected in the commitment to ongoing evaluation. Leaders regularly review supply chain performance and adjust strategies based on real-time data and feedback. Conclusion Adept leaders orchestrate supply chain methods with a unique blend of foresight, technological prowess, collaboration, and sustainability. The journey of adeptness in supply chain leadership is an ongoing one. As technologies continue to evolve and the global landscape shifts, future leaders will need to navigate new challenges. The integration of AI-driven predictive analytics, blockchain for enhanced transparency, and the rise of autonomous logistics vehicles are among the exciting prospects that will redefine supply chain adeptness in the years ahead. | Aug 2023 | 34 www.thesiliconleaders.com
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