DHL aims to set Myanmar gold standard

DHL Supply Chain is aiming to be recognised as the best contract logistics provider in Myanmar within a short period, said Shisanupong Pitidhanyasawasdi, 36, country manager of DHL Supply Chain Myanmar.

“The business objective in Myanmar is to establish our operation footprint within the market before expanding in the next three years. My short-term commitment is to get the facilities and resources up to international standards, grow the market share, and get DHL Supply Chain recognised as the best contract logistics provider in Myanmar,” he said.

To achieve these objectives, the country manager said that he would have to embed the DHL culture – “can do”, “passion”, “right first time” – in every single step of its business there.

DHL Supply Chain recently announced its plan to invest more than Bt2.7 billion to expand its regional footprint in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar by 2020.

In Myanmar, it will expand its warehouse space to 20,000 square metres by 2020 from the current 2,000sqm. The company will develop a 10,000sqm warehouse in Yangon this year for operations to begin in the middle of next year.

In July 2017, the company became the first 100 per cent foreign-owned logistics company to acquire an investment permit from Myanmar Investment Commission.

Shisanupong said that DHL first set up operations in Myanmar in 2013 through a local business partner. Over the past few years, it came to see huge potential in the high demand for international logistics providers with superior reliable quality.

They decided that it was time for the company to get into the market on its own. “With that plan, our first milestone was to obtain the investment permit from the Myanmar government, which in turn reflects our long term commitment to the country.”

DHL set up a dedicated project team made up of subject matter experts from different functions to get the business moving. Some 36 months later, “we achieved our first milestone”, Shisanupong said.

Established customers in Thailand and other nearby nations were asked about their expectations about Myanmar “and from there, we started developing our customised solutions that will fit with their requirements while still compatible with the Myanmar business environment”.

DHL found a unique niche at the “best in class” level, compared to other logistics providers already in the market. The resulting strategy “requires huge investment, but at the same time demonstrates our promise to address our customers’ needs and become the best-in-class contract logistics service provider”, said Shisanupong.

Later this year, the company will break ground for a built-to-specification warehouse in Yangon before expanding to Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw and other cities in the years to come, he said.

Shisanupong has also focused on building the right mindset for his team and partners to ensure that everyone working with DHL follows both DHL code of conducts and local laws and regulations.

“I am confident that this approach will give us sustainable organic growth,” he said. Supply chain and logistics is one of the key economic development areas of focus for the Myanmar government. Developing logistics will lead to improved living conditions, increasing country competitiveness and a generally growing economy, he added.

“We see some challenges in Myanmar but if we look at the current situation from a different angle, we see huge opportunities where we can make a great contribution towards the Myanmar logistics industry by leveraging our capabilities and know-how.”

In the short run, DHL Myanmar definitely needs to leverage some local partners to get the business up and running while developing its own capacity for long-term sustainable growth.

He said that DHL is strictly adhering to a good governance practice globally. It has a standard code of conduct and conducts serious due diligence to ensure its partners are committed to its standards and operate in a way that is compliant with applicable local laws and regulations.

“We have recruited some Myanmar employees since last year and immersed them in our Thailand operations for between six and 18 months with on-the-job training. After the programme is completed, these employees will be redeployed to our Myanmar operations where they can utilise their skills and train other local employees towards our global service quality standard. By doing this, we can guarantee that our employees will be well-equipped and live the DHL,” he added.

“During the initial phase, we will introduce GPS (Global Positioning System), telematics, voice picking, control tower and electronic proof of delivery (EPOD) to the market, and will evaluate the market readiness before bringing in other technologies and innovations into the market at the later stage.”

Source: The Nation

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