Interview

“Holistic view is crucial”

DB Schenker customers always have a contact person – regardless of what the order may be. Customers requiring further independent advice can turn to DB Schenker Consulting. Managing Director Linda Borgenstam talks about the business concept that is based in Sweden but also open to clients from other countries

Linda Borgenstam has been the Managing Director at DB Schenker Consulting since 2015. She is convinced that these are fascinating times for the logistics industry and says: “This makes it an exciting and fun place to work!” Photo: DB Schenker
Linda Borgenstam has been the Managing Director at DB Schenker Consulting since 2015. She is convinced that these are fascinating times for the logistics industry and says: “This makes it an exciting and fun place to work!” Photo: DB Schenker

Mrs. Borgenstam, what was the rationale behind forming DB Schenker Consulting?

We were established with the aim of gathering specialists into one organizational unit. As a subsidiary company, we operate independently of existing customer relationships and projects. This allows us to develop an unbiased, holistic view of things, enabling us to find innovative approaches that create genuine optimization. At the same time, we are close enough to DB Schenker to access and make use of their technical infrastructure, including the analytical tools that are important for our work.

 

Who are your customers and who advises them?

Our clients run the gamut from middle-sized enterprises to large corporations. They belong to a wide range of industries, from industrial to construction and healthcare as well as the public sector. Currently, our team consists of 16 consultants, each of whom boasts specific, cutting-edge expertise in project management and management consulting but who also specialize in one or several areas of logistics and supply chain management. That enables us to draw up solutions that not only look good on paper but are actually viable. If needs be, we can also bring in experts from partner companies. It goes without saying that we also collaborate with our clients’ account managers. It is also quite common that they are the ones who recommend us in the first place. For that matter, we as a company were also established with the aim of attracting and retaining skilled personnel and also marketing our expertise within DB Schenker. In turn, this ultimately benefits the customers.

What issues and questions do you deal with?

Companies who approach us experience or see changes coming, such as near-sourcing, change of market requirements, the need for cost take-outs, and they require help in identifying the optimal supply chain design in light of these changes. The task could also be to create a more agile supply chain so as to successfully deal with the increasing pace of change. Another concern for some of our clients is tied-up capital, and they hire us to make an inventory optimization with the objective of reducing tied-up capital throughout the supply chain. Moreover, clients also need our help with production logistics or warehouse design including layout and processes when expanding or when there is a need for cost takeout. Other needs might refer to transport optimization and project management.

 

How do you and your team proceed?

Generally we start with a preparation phase, where we mobilize a project team and hold a kick-off as well as prepare data requests. After that, we go through the setup phase, which involves defining a model structure and setting up modeling tools, for example. The next step is the model and analyze phase, where scenarios are simulated and analyzed, and solutions are identified including business cases. The final step is the recommendation, where the best solution is identified, results are summarized and the recommended next steps are presented. Wherever possible, and particularly when developing supply chain solutions, we take options into account that arise from the digitization of logistical processes.

 

Speaking of changes in logistics as a result of digitization: what further developments do you see on the horizon?

Apart from technological breakthroughs, which include everything from autonomous driving to 3D printers, I see four mega themes that are shaping logistics and will continue to do so in the future: rapid urbanization, demographic and social change, climate change and resource scarcity and, lastly, a shift in global economic power. These developments will inevitably give rise to the emergence of new players, new business models and new customer requirements. Both for a service provider like DB Schenker and for our clients, it is highly important to analyze each of these areas to identify potential impact to the business, meaning new business opportunities but also the risk to current business or even disruption, and to develop new strategies. And we want to contribute our part to make it happen!

 

For more information on DB Schenker Consulting please click here or contact Linda Borgenstam here.

Analyzing processes: the experts at Schenker Consulting take an holistic, external view of things. That helps when developing new solutions – for clients but also in various departments at DB Schenker

Photos: iStock/PeopleImages



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