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How the technology sector upped its game during the pandemic

Issue 2/2021

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Magazine Archive

Previously published issues of Delivered.

The supply chain in focus

How engineering and manufacturing can gear up for the post-pandemic future
There’s every reason to be optimistic that 2021 will be a better year than 2020. Still, COVID-19 continues to dominate the global agenda, and this issue of Delivered. reflects that fact.
One thing all businesses have in common at the moment – whatever their sector – is mitigating the impact of the pandemic. For many companies, not least in the engineering and manufacturing sectors, the key focus is squarely on ensuring the security of supply chains. But as our Sector Focus article asks: Might they find a silver lining to this crisis? Could it offer players an opportunity to make significant supply chain improvements that could ultimately transform their processes, and actually create opportunities in their post-COVID-19 future?
Some businesses have dealt with the pandemic better than others. But so have some countries. Take China. In 2020, its GDP plunged and its future looked uncertain. Yet by the end of the year, China had the virus largely contained and recovered its footing, and is now back on its growth trajectory. How did it achieve this turnaround? You can find out in our Country Focus.

Fine-tuned for the future

How the auto-mobility industry is gearing up for change
The automotive sector has been particularly affected by the coronavirus, with a fall in sales and the closure of assembly lines and vehicle dealerships around the world. With the industry in the early stages of recovery, our Focus feature asks what it might look like, post-pandemic.
Of course, it’s well used to dealing with disruption, usually of the technological kind. In our Executive View, Janine Montforts, an executive with long-established automotive supplier ZF, reveals how the company is gearing up to face further change in a future era of autonomous vehicles and advanced mobility systems.
One sector that has seen a massive uptick because of the coronavirus is e-commerce. Take jeans retailer Levi Strauss, which saw its e-commerce sales up 70% in June 2020 compared with the same month in 2019. Daniele Cipolletti, Levi’s Operations Manager, Europe, tells us how flexibility and strategic thinking helped the company successfully navigate its way through the pandemic. We also report on the e-commerce boom in Latin America and the challenges that lie ahead if the sector in this part of the world is to continue to grow long term.

Tailor-made for success

Why e-commerce is all the fashion in Latin America
I think you’ll agree with me that there was a tremendous increase in e-commerce at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic – the accelerated development we saw in a matter of weeks was probably equivalent to that of the previous five years. More consumers started to shop online, doing so more frequently than ever before and with a growing sense of confidence and familiarity. What’s more, this trend was evident across a broad range of industries, particularly within the healthcare sector.
Many companies in retail and fashion experienced huge demand spikes, and these sometimes triggered shortages and capacity issues. In response, a lot of thought has been given to completely reinventing business models, shifting sales toward online channels and, where necessary, enabling bricks-and-mortar stores to provide local fulfillment. In this special issue of Delivered., we talk to two fast-thinking fashion names to find out how they innovated their way out of a crisis, driving up their e-commerce sales as a result: world-famous Levi Strauss and going-places new streetwear brand Grubenhelden. We also find out why e-commerce is experiencing huge growth in the markets of Latin America and the Middle East.

Facing the future

Why sustainable development is the watchword for a changing energy sector
Big oil and gas companies are currently busy transforming themselves into providers of clean, sustainable energy for the future. In this issue, our Focus article looks at how they are changing and the demands they are facing, including making sure the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t derail their ambitions. The scale of these challenges certainly isn’t rattling energy giant Total. As we discover in our Executive View, the company is determined to get to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Of course, when times are tough, any company, organization – or country, for that matter – requires strong, decisive leadership. But is it a coincidence that countries with female leaders seem to have dealt with the coronavirus particularly well? In our new Debate series, Dr. Auma Obama shares her thoughts and recalls how her own childhood in Kenya influenced the way she deals with difficult situations. Staying in Africa, we meet leading Nigerian entrepreneur Bright Jaja who is championing skills development across the continent, while Amadou Diallo, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding, insists that with its limitless resources and resourcefulness, The time for Africa is now!

Walk on

How resilience can help you weather the storm
The coronavirus crisis, which has affected every industry at unnerving speed, has underlined how vital it is for businesses to respond rapidly to new challenges in increasingly inventive ways. Those that can react quickly and creatively have a better chance of bouncing back from disruption and damage. These companies truly know the secret of resilience, which is a theme running through this issue of Delivered.
To be resilient, you have to be able to accept and then adapt to your new reality. Companies in the life sciences and healthcare sector (LSH) understand this only too well. COVID-19 has highlighted the incredible skills and expertise of innovative LSH teams across the world – and continues to do so. Their response to supply chain shocks caused by the current crisis has been remarkable and, as our Focus article points out, includes employing new digital approaches to transform the use of data in manufacturing and the wider supply chain. It’s comforting to know that while LSH companies remain laser focused on helping people in the present, they also realize they must make improvements to their operations for a more resilient future.

What's the big idea?

The tech innovations already shaping our world
When this issue was first planned and put together, the world around us was a very different one. Now we are facing an extraordinary situation. COVID-19 has disrupted all of our lives, and it’s hard to predict when things will return to normal.

We considered whether we should publish an issue at all – and our conclusion was “Yes, we must.” Why? Because we believe that, despite the unprecedented situation we are all facing, food for thought and business insights are still needed, as we must stay on top of trends in order to be geared up for when times return to normal. And I believe that, here and there, during these challenging times, we also need to give ourselves time to direct our focus away from crisis and turmoil and allow some mental space for learning or inspiration.

Engineering the customer experience

The big changes at the heart of Engineering, Manufacturing & Energy
I am sure you’d agree that evolution is important for success in business. In today’s disruptive environment, being agile and able to adapt is critical, both for companies and economies.

The Engineering, Manufacturing and Energy sectors are not immune to this, although they are often stereotyped as solidly traditional industries that put assets before people. Yet as you’ll read in our Sector Focus, companies are having to put the needs of their customers and end users at the center of everything they do in order to keep up with changing expectations.

Singapore is eternally evolving. It’s been a manufacturing-oriented economy and financial hub and is now rapidly entering the third iteration in its short history as the high-tech epicenter of the ASEAN region. We look at the steps it’s taking to bolster its stability, efficiency and economic success.

Driving force

How customers are steering change in the car industry
Is your company customer-focused? Of course it is. These days, all companies have to put their customers at the center of everything they do – and firms in the automotive sector are no exception.

As you’ll read in our Auto-Mobility Focus, car manufacturers are changing their traditional marketing approaches in order to attract buyers and maintain their competitive position, using emerging digitalization to increase customer satisfaction.

Big changes are also happening in Colombia, which is seeing a surge in entrepreneurship. Our Country Focus finds Latin America’s fourthlargest economy attempting to boost its domestic and international trade with a multibillion-dollar road-building program, support for its blossoming startup scene and an increased focus on e-commerce. 

Costing the earth

Can we meet rising energy demand and battle climate change?

How can we square the climate change circle? The world urgently needs to decrease its carbon emissions – although efforts to do so are taking place amid continually rising energy demand. Yet as this issue’s Energy Focus makes clear, behind the alarming global warming headlines there’s evidence that the transition to a lower-carbon energy system really is underway, with wind, solar and biomass now an important part of the world’s energy mix.

Commitment to sustainability can come from unexpected places. For instance, our Country Focus profiles the United Arab Emirates and highlights how Abu Dhabi is turning its attention to renewable energy – and solar power in particular. But then Abu Dhabi and its neighbor, Dubai, are constantly investing and innovating to stay ahead of the curve.


DHL celebrates 50 years of business

As DHL turns 50, it has retained its agility, passion and “can do” spirit. That makes us proud, and is one more reason to look into the future with confidence and optimism. In fact, we believe that core parts of our DNA – the drive to promote global exchange, leverage new technologies and embrace sustainable solutions – will also be essential for shaping a better planet.

This special anniversary issue of Delivered. is not just about us. It takes a look at the evolving business landscape over the past 50 years, focusing on key industries that have been vital to our success. It honors trailblazers throughout the ages. And it takes a glimpse into the next 50 years. In addition, it reflects on the meaning of success – then, now and in the decades to come. 


Why big changes are coming to the pharma cold chain 

When it comes to the pressurized world of life sciences logistics, it’s essential that companies in the sector keep their cool. That’s easier said than done in an industry that produces temperature-sensitive products that have to be refrigerated or frozen during transportation or storage. Yet as we report in our Life Sciences Focus, big data and the internet of things are making it easier for pharma players to improve the cost, quality and efficiency of their cold chain operations


How 5G networks are set to change our world

How will 5G networks change our world? The next revolution in mobile communications is coming and, as we highlight in our Technology Focus this issue, could initially have a massive impact on business and industrial users, including the logistics industry.


How digital tech will change the face of manufacturing

What will the factory of the future look like? That’s the question we pose in our Engineering and Manufacturing focus this issue. What’s certain is that the disrupting influence of digitalization is currently powering a fourth industrial revolution and looks set to transform the manufacturing sector in the years ahead.


How e-commerce is fueling a revolution in the automotive sector

The global e-commerce market is expected to be worth $4 trillion by 2020 and it’s not just about B2C anymore – the B2B is also getting in on the game.

In the automotive sector e-commerce has had a slow start, with overall penetration in the sector’s major markets at a mere 1.5 percent last year. The speed is however about to change. In E-commerce accelerates we explore how automotive players are now getting into the fast lane online.


The towering logistics challenges of offshore wind power

Did you know that offshore wind power grew by a spectacular 25 percent in Europe in 2017? That’s good news for our planet, but building giant infrastructure offshore has created some complex logistics challenges for the energy sector. Our Energy focus explores how new processes and supply chain solutions can overcome these and help the industry to thrive.


How digital innovation is transforming healthcare provision

Technological innovation is always extraordinary – but perhaps its best, most important application has been to help us live longer, healthier lives. Take digitalization. This is a process that has disrupted many industries and now offers a range of attractive solutions for the life sciences & healthcare sector, such as the quest for new approaches to healthcare delivery.


How constant innovation keeps the tech industry out in front

It’s been a challenging few years for technology companies. Now, however, the sector is booming again – but continued growth depends on the ability to keep up with customer expectations. Can service levels and production be ramped up quickly enough to meet fast-growing demand?


Will digitalization create a manufacturing revolution?

One industry that has eased into the world of engineering products for advanced analytics and digital capabilities is agriculture. Innovations in satellite imaging, drones and tractor technology have made today’s farming more precise than ever – and the commercial potential is huge.


How the car industry is responding to revolutionary change

Are you still driving your car as you always have? I bet you already appreciate lane warnings or use guided parking assist. Perhaps you or your family have already started to use Uber and Didi Chuxing, or jump in a Zipcar or Car2Go for a shopping excursion?

There are many changes facing the automotive industry. This is an industry that has always taken pride in a culture of constant innovation. Automotive now has to adapt to a new set of disruptions and fundamental changes as the sector embraces using new technologies in what is evolving into the autonomous mobility sector.

New landscape for filling stations

Why it’s all change at the pumps

Did you know that some 1.2 billion people around the world live without electricity?

Half of these live in sub-Saharan Africa, which trails the rest of the world in terms of access to electricity by a huge margin. Our Energy feature Lighting up Africa discusses how progress can be made that will turn around the fortunes of business and private households, and how logistics can play an important part.

New model for life sciences

Why tailored healthcare is changing the structure of life sciences

We’re all individuals. While this statement may be an obvious one, when it comes to life sciences and healthcare, it represents a fundamental change in mind set. Where “one drug for all” used to be the prescribed course for an illness, now, with the ever-growing understanding of an individual’s genetics, lifestyle and the characteristics of their condition, the approach to treatments is becoming much more tailored. To provide this higher treatment efficacy while keeping down cost, the life sciences sector will have to rethink its business models – and its supply chains.

Uncovering innovation

The technology sector responds to powerful disruptive forces

Since the launch of NAFTA in 1994, U.S. direct investment in Mexico has risen more than sixfold to $92.8 billion in 2015. Over the same period, Mexican exports to the U.S. have surged more than sevenfold to $294.6 billion. The numbers speak for themselves – under NAFTA, Mexico has become a key manufacturing hub for foreign companies supplying the U.S. During these times of political headwinds, will it stay the same in the coming years?

Fast track to the future

Engineering and Manufacturing embraces the digital revolution

How equipped are you for Industry 4.0? As digitalization is rapidly changing the way business runs, there is the promise of big opportunity. Our focus on Engineering & Manufacturing shows that the coming together of the digital and physical worlds also brings an equal measure of challenge, as some companies still struggle to decide where they should direct focus and money in order to thrive amid digital disruption.