Information for management teams

Network was published by DHL. Aimed at their middle management, it majored on the company’s successes and various matters of policy.

Commissioned by The Blue Ballroom, their internal communications consultancy, I wrote several features on a wide range of subjects.

Click here to read the textDHL NETWORK MAGAZINE FEATURE Brazil: dancing to a new beatThe second largest highway network in the world. The largest economy and the biggest labor pool in Latin America. Immense natural resources. Increasing foreign investment. Brazil seems to have it all. But, as DHL LOGISTICS knows all too well, it takes time to be winner. There’s an old joke in Brazil that says it’s a country with enormous potential and will always be a country with enormous potential. This may still raise a smile in some quarters but, as many observers report, Brazil is at last beginning to quicken the pace of its industrial and commercial development, with the lead coming from the top. Returned to power last year, President da Silva has vowed to boost economic growth from its recent average of 2.8% a year to an ambitious 5%. He may not achieve it, but the intention is there. And it has been welcomed by many, including DHL LOGISTICS. “The President’s ideas are good,” says Jürg Rohrer, Managing Director, DHL Global Forwarding in Brazil, “but he has a long way to go.” Others agree, citing da Silva’s need to reform the state bureaucracy, simplify the tax system, introduce social reform and improve competitiveness – all in the face of opposition from those who want to retain the status quo. Yet Rohrer remains confident, as do his colleagues running DHL’s Exel Supply Chain and Freight operations in Brazil. “It needs a lot of experience and know-how to work within the very complex legal, tax and regulatory environment,” says Rohrer. “Newcomers need time to build a profitable business. Everyone needs a long-term view, which we’ve always had.” Good recordDHL has been in Brazil for over 30 years, so Rohrer knows about the long haul. And the record shows years of sound progress in all aspects of logistics. More than half the division’s business is centered on the state of Sao Paulo, with the high-tech and automotive sectors accounting for more than 50%. Other important sectors include life sciences and chemicals, consumer products and agriculture. Rohrer says financial services is one of the strongest growth areas with, as he puts it, “the banks breaking all records”. The most important region beyond Sao Paulo state is Amazonas state. The capital, Manaus, is the center of Brazil’s technology sector. DHL Exel Supply Chain’s major customers such as Nokia, Philips and Samsung are based here. Other business is focused on trade between Brazil and its Latin American neighbors, with  destinations in Argentina and Chile up to 4,500 kilometers distant, often over poor highways. The rail infrastructure, which is not much better, is used for the transportation of commodities. DHL’s air freight services connect with all the world’s major cities. Winning teamThe division’s hard work was recognized in June this year when Exel Supply Chain won the coveted Volvo Logistics Award as 2006’s top logistics provider in Brazil. Now in its sixth year, the award rates logistics companies’ performance across a number of industry categories. As well as winning the overall award, Exel Supply Chain was rated best in four of the eight categories – consumer, retail, technology and healthcare. While the award is clearly a source of pride, it is also a source of inspiration. The aim now is to be the best again next year, with Global Forwarding, Freight and Exel Supply Chain working together to win new business. Having created a long list of target companies organized by industry sector, the objective is to convert that into a fast-flowing pipeline of new business. The country’s growing automotive sector has already produced successes, with Global Forwarding recently winning a contract for all Hyundai’s inbound ocean shipments from South Korea to Brazil. There has also been a joint win for Global Forwarding and Exel Supply Chain with pharmaceutical group, Biogen. New initiatives include work on an imaginative logistics concept for Brazil’s aerospace industry. The country’s high demand for private jets and helicopters offers what Rohrer describes as “a promising playground for new activities”.Playing or not, Brazil is dancing to a new tune. And DHL LOGISTICS aims to keep in step with every new development along the way.