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Sunday, 24 May 2009





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DHL rolls out 'First Choice'

DHL Global Forwarding, the world's leading air and ocean freight company, announced today plans to roll-out in Sri Lanka the Group-wide program called 'First Choice' - a customer-centric quality program. To be introduced in the third quarter of this year, 'First Choice' is aimed at driving organic growth by building strong customer loyalty. Employees are at the heart of the First Choice program, taking the lead in the organizational shift toward superior customer orientation.

`First Choice' is about keeping our promise of quality and delivering service excellence to customers in order to be the preferred logistics partner in the industry. This is a powerful initiative which has transformed the way we do business and it starts with every single employee, putting the customer's interest in the centre of everything that they do", said Hermann Ude, Global CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight and Member of the Deutsche Post DHL Management Board.

"I am delighted that Sri Lanka will be rolling out the program this year, I am confident it will deliver even higher levels of customer satisfaction, and cultivate a culture where excellence and constant improvement are second nature," he added.

Ude was in Colombo last week on a day-long visit during which he met up with key Government officials, the Chairman of the BOI and several top customers to whom he outlined the First Choice concept and its key benefits for them.

The First Choice philosophy impacts customers, employees and shareholders. "It is our firm belief that a leading position in customer loyalty will have a positive impact on revenue and earnings. As the world's largest logistics group it is our relentless goal to deliver best-in-class service and satisfaction to our customers to maintain our edge as the market leader. We recognize that customers who experience optimal service and quality performance will develop strong partnerships with their logistics providers," said Mr. Ude.

The workforce of more than 500,000 employees at Deutsche Post DHL is the crucial factor in the success of First Choice. Since the introduction of First Choice in 2007, over 13,000 managers and employees have already been trained in the First Choice methodology, and more than 100,000 employees have been directly integrated into the initiative. The First Choice approach is about understanding what the customer wants and delivering it. Therefore customer feedback is the starting point for all improvement initiatives, with a focus on analyzing work procedures, identifying problems in processes and systematically developing solutions.

In First Choice workshops, trained employees help local staff members through an induction program. This system facilitates improvements that are created through initiatives by employees directly on the job.

"First Choice is not a program with a fixed life expectancy but rather a part of our culture and philosophy. This is the reason that employees are at the heart of it: We want to motivate and empower every individual in the Group to provide `First Choice' service, not just for a limited period of time but on a permanent basis," Ude added.

The First Choice methodology was initially tested and improved in eight pilot projects. Since the test phase was concluded at the beginning of 2007, 225 Group units have introduced First Choice - they represent more than 80 percent of all consolidated revenue. The focus is always on the question of how customer satisfaction can be increased, in terms of both private individuals and businesses. The improvements through the First Choice initiatives around the world ranges from better delivery schedules in the Express division and upgraded complaint management in DHL Global Forwarding to more efficient warehousing solutions at DHL Supply Chain.

The upcoming implementation of `First Choice' follows a series of announcements in recent months underscoring DHL's continued commitment to Sri Lanka. In March, DHL announced its investment of US$8 million in Sri Lanka over the next three years as well as a state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution centre by 2010. As part of this investment, DHL will also launch the "DHL Fashion and Apparel Centre for Excellence" in Colombo. Last month, DHL also launched two new ocean freight innovation solutions in Sri Lanka including GPS tracking services and Garment-on-Hangers product for the fashion industry. DHL's innovative services will complement Sri Lanka's efforts in establishing itself as the Logistics Hub of South Asia.



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