Customer centricity in automobility sector requires changes in logistics

President, Global Auto-Mobility Sector, DHL

Fathi Tlatli, President, Global Auto-Mobility Sector, DHL

1. The automotive industry is talking a lot about the need to become more customer-centric, what does that mean in practice?

Ultimately, it’s about ease and convenience for the customer, whether that customer is a manager responsible for a big fleet of vehicles or an individual private owner. People enjoy the highly responsive, personalized service they get from companies they deal with in other sectors, and they now expect the same from the automotive industry. That means the sector can no longer attempt to serve its customers with a “one size fits all” model.

2. Is there a requirement for more customer-centric logistics approaches in the mobility sector?

Yes. Every aspect of logistics has a role to play in the drive for greater customer-centricity, from inbound to manufacturing, through finished vehicle delivery and on into the aftermarket. Automotive and mobility companies need to continue to improve the performance of their existing supply chains and logistics processes. And they will also have to develop new logistics models and new approaches to support specific customer groups, whether that’s managing and maintaining shared vehicle fleets or giving companies and individuals a more responsive, user-friendly experience.

3. Do the ongoing technology changes in the industry have implications for logistics activities?

We’re seeing a significant increase in the number of components with stringent storage and handling requirements. Batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles are part of the story, but there’s a more general rise in the quantity of electronic components and assemblies in the modern vehicle. Those parts need to be protected from shocks, temperature extremes and other environmental factors. Temperature-controlled logistics was once quite rare in the automotive industry, for example. Now it’s becoming a common request from our customers.

Published: November 2019

Image: DHL