For nearly a decade, the drugstore chain dm has been counting on the expertise of DHL Freight. A turnover of more than nine billion Euros, approximately 55,000 employees and nearly 3,200 branches in twelve European countries – dm is the clear no. 1 among Europe's drugstore chains. From beauty masks and detergent to baby food, the flagship company provides pretty-much everything customers want. In order to ensure that shelves are always full, DHL Freight has been successfully handling the seamless procurement logistics behind the scenes since 2008.
The proximity factor
What now works like a well-oiled machine was at first something of a revolution for dm. Because, before signing the contract with DHL Freight, the drugstore worked together with various different transport companies. “The advantages of bundling are obvious”, explains Daniel Pape, the responsible Account Manager at DHL Freight Deutschland. In addition, the close-knit national DHL network also knows to convince. It is thus that the majority of dm locations are less than 60 kilometers from a DHL hub.
- Foundation: 1973
- Headquarters: Karlsruhe, Germany
- Turnover of dm Group in the business year 14/15: EUR 9.075 bn.
- A total of 3,282 branches in twelve European countries (in central and south Europe), 1,786 branches in Germany
- Around 55,000 employees in Europe, including more than 38,000 in Germany
- Largest drugstore chain in Europe
Ever since, DHL Freight has been picking up articles every day at more than 130 industry collection points – primarily in Germany, but also in Italy, Poland, France, the Netherlands and Spain. From there, the logistics company transports the shipments as general cargo, partial or full loads to the dm distribution points throughout Germany. And one trend is becoming ever clearer. “The business is becoming more international from year to year”, confirms Pape.
Everything under control
The logistics for the drugstore chain is based on the regional control tower concept at the DHL Freight branch in Koblenz. From here, all orders from throughout Germany are accepted and monitored. The Control Center is not only the central communication interface between dm, suppliers and internal DHL offices. This is where staff also take care of billing, claims processing and the monitoring of performance targets.
The processes are now very well attuned to one another – but nevertheless, things can always still be optimized: “We regularly meet with dm in order to interlink processes better, to discuss existing issues and to talk about current challenges”, explains Pape. “This is where we explore how we can make our services even better for dm.” Some of the issues that are discussed include green logistics solutions with the help of hybrid and electric vehicles, training and industry co-operation, the potential of automated loading and unloading technology, and the optimal gate and resources management via GPS under the motto “information follows goods”. So there are still a lot of exciting things to do.