Express response from DHL's UAE contact centre

DHL UAE has implemented a domestic call centre and linked its multiple sites with an IP network to improve customer service provision and office productivity.

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By  Sathya Mithra Ashok Published  September 2, 2008

DHL UAE has implemented a domestic call centre and linked its multiple sites with an IP network to improve customer service provision and office productivity.

There are only a few global brands that over time have left a lasting impression on people. DHL would certainly count as one among them.

Since 1969, the company has grown to become one of the most trustworthy providers of delivery solutions for customers worldwide. Present in the UAE since 1976, DHL Worldwide Express has consistently delivered quality to its customers. Effective use of information technology has been key to the organisation's achievement of its goals.

All that IT has made possible was not achieved in a day, but it is also true that DHL is able to maintain its high standards by ensuring that its technology usage is state-of-the-art and tuned into its business needs.

"IT is of crucial importance at DHL. It is the glue that holds the various departments of the organisation together. We actually call our function the engine of the entire organisation. In terms of information collation, availability and making sure that everything is there in terms of collection and delivery to endpoints, IT remains extremely crucial," states Mark Sammut, IT manager at DHL Express, UAE.

As Sammut puts it, all that IT has made possible was not achieved in a day, but it is also true that DHL is able to maintain its high standards by ensuring that its technology usage is state-of-the-art and tuned into its business needs, as well as ensuring that any investment can be managed and run both centrally and more effectively.

"We have a 14 person IT team in the UAE. We also have an area team, which looks after the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, located in Bahrain. The business uses a demand and supply model, with our EEMEA regional demand team being located in Brussels. Most of our core applications, data and infrastructure are housed in strategic global datacentres which are managed by our IT supply organisation. These datacentres operate in a follow-the-sun approach. The first is in Malaysia, second in the US and a third in Czechoslovakia. From a country point of view, we mostly purchase from our supply organisation and monitor service delivery with several key performance indicators. We also provide the endpoint delivery when it comes to global or regional projects regarding the UAE. We cover implementations, security and maintenance of infrastructure," says Sammut.

"The majority of the UAE team is focused on front-end services. We have a centralised service desk for our area located in Bahrain. Basically, when someone needs help they are directed there. These calls are categorised into tickets using HP Openview and then assigned accordingly. First, timely resolution is the key focus. If this cannot be achieved the ticket is then routed to the local team or to one of the datacentres," says Sammut.

DHL Express has an established datacentre in Dubai for the UAE. Performing multiple functions for the country, the datacentre is also meant to connect to the core.

"DHL Express is one of several business units in DPWN (Deutsche Post World Net). There is an extensive amount of work that goes into integration between these businesses. Apart from the DHL Express datacentre in Dubai, there is also an area supply organisation one, which provides connectivity and shared services," says Sammut.

The company has also taken adequate measures for disaster recovery, where local datacentres are mirrored for back-up remotely, and is also made redundant within itself to make it more resistant to any unexpected occurrences.

Sammut says that the current Express datacentre in Dubai is a Tier III one and the firm is planning on setting up a disaster recovery site in the country in the very near future.

He also emphasises the DHL mentality of in-sourcing, where the company tends to use resources from within its own confines wherever possible. This has enabled the firm to maximise productivity, extend control and ensure quality in a more uniform fashion.

A good example of this is the way local teams of the company handle application development. According to Sammut, when there is a need for a specific application, the information is first collected from multiple regions for availability and costing within the internal development teams. Based on this data, a decision is subsequently made and the application is given out for relevant development.

Connectivity sorted out

Recently, with growth increasing for the company, DHL felt the need for a dedicated UAE call centre to handle domestic customer queries.

"We have a very mature call centre located at the Dubai airport which handles our international products. Recently, we expanded it even further by adding resources dedicated to handling our domestic products," says Sammut.

With his team, Sammut began the process of selecting the right partner for setting up the domestic call centre by utilising the company's internal procurement department.

"We all have specific needs and procurement is a large part of our business. To supply to DHL, vendors or integrators have to meet and satisfy specific service terms. These may include being listed with partner programs and being able to meet global agreements. Everything is put through a comprehensive list and you will be able to pick the best fit from it. This varies on a project-by-project basis," says Sammut.

After due consideration and looking through multiple providers, DHL chose EMW to implement the domestic call centre. The integrator was also chosen to upgrade the company's existing Avaya solution and IP-enable multiple sites.

A quick look at DHL

Revenue 2003: EUR 22 billion

Number of fulltime employees: More than 160,000

Number of offices: Around 5,000

Number of hubs, warehouses & terminals: More than 450

Number of gateways: 238

Number of vehicles: 75,000

Number of countries & territories: More than 220

Number of customers: 4.2 million

Shipments per year: More than 1 billion

Destinations covered: 120,000


3253 days ago
p. jelinic

The line in the article has me a bit baffled as to why you're referring to "The first is in Malaysia, second in the US and a third in Czechoslovakia". You are aware that there is no longer a country called "Czechoslovakia"? It has been known as the Czech Republic" since January 1, 1993, when Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in what was known as the Velvet Divorce, by analogy with the Velvet Revolution.

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