Bernhard Simon, the CEO
and the chairman of the Executive Board at Dachser, in an exclusive interview speaks about how the
87-year-old and fully family-owned logistics company is making every effort
showcase itself as a technological trendsetter in the logistics industry; but
never without being humane.
For Dachser, digitalization does not exclude human element; on the
other hand, as Simon puts it, “With
digitalisation we need to have even more human relations; in fact more valuable
ones.” Contrary to popular notion that everything can be done by robots or
machines, Simon lays sharp emphasis on the human element and goes on to say
that it is only human element that ‘really distinguishes and it is the factor
that finally makes the difference’.
It is a comprehensive look that knows the immeasurable
value of human element despite unprecedented growth of technology. And he
touches one very vital fact about the customers which is true and will be true
all the times, no matter to which height technology soars up: ‘Humans will
offer far better relations with customers who are always looking for a real
person to talk to and not a robot”.
Another very radically fresh view of
digitalization with regard to Dasher, Simon puts it very effectively: “I believe logistics still depends on
fulfillment. I don’t think that logistics, as a channel, will be looking very
different from what it is now. There will be some niches where you will see
some real differences in the applications of different technologies. For
Dachser, digitalisation is more an evolutionary process than a revolutionary
one. We already started down that path three decades ago and it is an ongoing
part of our corporate strategy,” asserts Simon.
As if summing up the very secret of
success in logistics and business itself, he says:
“The fact is that only those who deliver
securely, reliably, transparently and with high quality will survive in the
marketplace. To do so, we need powerful network, intelligent strategies and
people who will take on this challenge with superior knowledge, passion, and an
ability to work as part of a team.”
Founded in 1930 by Thomas Dachser in
Kempten, Germany, Dachser continues to be a 100 percent family-owned company up
through the present day. As one of the global leaders in the logistics
industry, Dachser has successfully proven for decades that a family-owned
company can achieve much with committed employees and innovative thinking.
Imbibing the technological developments
in the age of globalization and with a long-term strategy that does not
minimize the significance of the human element, in other words, of the
employees, Dachser that has generated the consolidated revenue of around 5.71 billion Euros, evolved an
innovative approach that differentiated Dachser from the startup ecosystem, the
approach of integrated processes. “We follow a system that combines cyber,
social and physical dimensions. In other words, in Dachser the network, the
person, and the physical transport are inextricably linked in logistics,”
Dachser was passed to Simon’s mother and
his aunt before he took the helm as CEO in 2005. The company has a constitution
to safeguard its continuity as a family business and ensure the separation of
family affairs from the business itself. The shareholders and executive board
advocate common values and social responsibility in three areas: the economy,
ecology and social issue. In this regard, a particularly high priority is given
to the training of young people at Dachser. In Germany alone, more than 600
trainees started their careers at the company last year. Currently, the total
number of young apprentices at Dachser locations in Germany is 1,417, which
equals a training rate of around 10 percent.
In 2016, the company invested 125
million euros in the networks. According to Dachser, an investment volume of
177 million euros has been earmarked for 2017.
“We will use it to continue on our
chosen path and ensure we always have cutting-edge network and IT
infrastructure in place. We first want to understand the market our customers
operate in and what makes them successful. Only then can we partner with them
on their road to success in their markets and take on the logistical challenges
they face,” Simon elaborates.
While Dachser embraces technology and
keeps pace with digitalization it is looking for “more logistics natives who
are capable of combining and orchestrating the digital and the physical world”.
This, according to Simon, goes beyond digitalization.