#35: Sabine Mueller CEO of DHL Consulting

Sabine Mueller, CEO of DHL Consulting

Sabine Mueller CEO of DHL Consulting

DHL Consulting is the independent strategic supply chain and management consultancy of Deutsche Post DHL Group, employing 150 consultants all over the world.

Sabine has been dedicated to the logistics sector for close to two decades. After she joined Deutsche Post DHL she took several roles as Consultant, Project Manager, Associate Partner, after that in 2003 she was appointed SVP Head of the Corporate Organization. Starting with 2010 CEO DHL Consulting. Together with her team at DHL Consulting, they passionately guide global logistics executives to effectively tackle and overcome supply chain challenges.

In her own words: “As leaders, we cannot ignore the severe transformational changes this field is going through, which require us to rethink the way we do business. Digitalization, big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, IoT, drones, blockchain, and the circular economy will redefine the supply chain and logistics ecosystem. “

Beyond her logistics career, she considers the advancement of women in executive roles to be a fundamental requirement for business success. She is personally committed to help female leaders succeed and promote more diversity in management teams.

Connect with the Guest:

Sabine Mueller: LinkedIn | Twitter  Website

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Client challenges – automatisation and digitization. Lowering costs – because logistics is a low margin industry – being efficient is a big topic.
  • What digital solutions are applicable / mature today to boost up logistics performance?
  • IoT Impact in Logistics – improving delivery times, delivery customisation.
  • Can you give us some examples of successful RPA (Robotic Process Automation) implementation?
  • If you were the Chief Supply Chain Office of a Fortune 500 Manufacturer that still relies on Excel data, what would you do to improve the Supply Chain?
  • What’s the end game for Digital Logistics? Where’s the disruption?
  • Warehouse networks fully automated – no humans needed.
  • How long before digitalization will help make the logistics process paper-less? DHL Consulting took 1.5 years to get paperless and they are a consulting business.
  • How do you work with startups? – Incubation projects for DHL.
  • What do we do with the humans once automation takes over? Talking upskilling people and making sure we allocate new responsibilities
  • How to keep learning? Linkedin Learning and Podcasts! I am a Podcast junkie!
  • You get what you have the courage to ask for! Advice for young people starting their career.

Episode #35: Sabine Mueller CEO of DHL Consulting

Show notes:

  • [02:02] How did you end up in Supply Chain and Logistics, more precisely in Consulting?
  • [03:15] What does DHL Consulting do within the DHL Group?
  • [05:32] What are the main challenges or hot topics that your clients face at the moment?
  • [07:11] Which digital solutions are applicable / mature today to boost up logistics performance?
  • [09:14] Can you give us some examples of successful RPA (Robotic Process Automation) implementation?
  • [11:55] If you were the Chief Supply Chain Office of a Fortune 500 Manufacturer that still relies on Excel data, what would you do to improve the Supply Chain?
  • [13:41] What’s the end game for Digital Logistics? Where’s the disruption?
  • [17:16] How long before digitization will help make the logistics process paper-less?
  • [21:22] What to outsource and what to do develop in-house in terms of digitization projects?
  • [27:55] How can you best collaborate with startups as a corporation?
  • [35:55] What do we do with the humans once automation takes over?
  • [47:55] How do you manage to keep up on actual use cases for digitalization, new trends, best cases in logistics and how much time do you spend with reading/research in comparison to consulting and managing?
  • [51:50] Improving diversity in the logistics sector – why is it taking so long and what should boards do to accelerate?
  • [58:52] What is the best piece of advice that you have received throughout your professional journey?

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Episode #15: Dr. John Gattorna Executive Chairman for Gattorna Alignment

Episode #20: Paul Srivorakul Co-Founder & Group CEO aCommerce

Episode #31: Zvi Schreiber CEO at Freightos

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AI taking over Supply Chains. Are you ready?

I had a very interesting talk recently with Paul Bradley, CEO of Caprica International. One of the industry leaders best connected with latest technology start-ups. One of the most interesting topics? AI! It made me realize that change is happening faster than most of us anticipate and AI is a big part of it. Listen to the podcast here.

Moving things forward – “Every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. These were the words used in 1955 to launch the very first research project that coined the term ‘artificial intelligence.


In a recent survey of Accenture’s clients, 70% of executives said they are increasing investments in AI compared with two years ago. One of the most obvious places to start is the supply chain, where we could see full automation.

In Gartner’s recent ‘Predicts 2016: Reimagine SCP Capabilities to Survive,’ the research firm revealed that their recent survey had found supply chain organizations expected the level of machine automation in their supply chain processes to double in the next five years

AI projects in Supply Chain and Logistics

Great examples of innovative projects based on artificial intelligence in supply chain:

  • IBM has super machine learning capabilities because of Watson. IBM has recently launched Watson Supply Chain aimed at creating supply chain visibility. Gaining supply risk insights. The system uses cognitive technology to track and predict supply chain disruptions. How you ask? By gathering and correlating external data from disparate sources. For example social media, newsfeeds, weather forecasts and historical data.
  • ToolsGroup’s supply chain optimization software has strong footing in machine-learning technology. One area of application is new product introduction. The software begins with creating a baseline forecast for the new product. The algorithm learns from early sell-in and sell-out demand signals. It layers this output to determine more accurate demand behavior. In turn, this feeds through to optimized inventory levels and replenishment plans.
  • TransVoyant is able to collect and analyze one trillion events each day. They use machine learning. With data from sensors, satellites, radar, video cameras and smartphones. In logistics applications, its algorithm tracks the real-time movement of shipments. It calculates their estimated time of arrival. It factors in the impact of weather conditions, port congestion and natural disasters. Not bad for a smart algorithm.
  • Sentient uses machine learning to deliver purchasing recommendations to e-commerce shoppers. They use image recognition. Rather than only using text searches and attributes like color or brand. The software find visual correlations with the items that the shopper is currently browsing. It does it through visual pattern matching. Visual data to the next level.
  • Rethink Robotics’ collaborative robots use artificial intelligent software. It allows the robot to perceive the environment around it. With this data it behaves in a way that’s safe, smart and collaborative for humans working alongside production lines. Robots will be very handy assistants.

The big players are already working hard on it

The major tech giants, particularly Google, have made it a major priority. They are already creating and developing such vehicles with a low accident rate. The market for self-driving cars and trucks is expected to grow to more than 10m vehicles by 2020. Representing an annual growth rate of 134%. It’s a matter of time before we see them on main roads.

In factories, Siemens is one company that is already using AI and automation . Their lights-out factory has automated some of its production lines. They can run without supervision for weeks at a time. This could work alongside autonomous vehicles to enable manufacturing. The goods can be transported to another AI-run factory. No need for human involvement whatsoever.

Danone, is already using analytics with machine learning capabilities. They use it to analyze their demand planning. Which resulted in a rapid 20% reduction in forecast error and a 30% reduction in lost sales.


Consider these stats from the 2017 MHI Industry report. The speed of supply-chain transactions from one e-tailer on Black Friday:

“A reported 426 orders per second were generated from the website throughout the day. That equates to over 36 million order transactions, an estimated 250 million picking lines at the distribution centers (DC), 40 million DC package loading scans, 40 million inbound sortation hub scans, 40 million outbound sortation hub scans, 40 million inbound regional sortation facility scans and 40 million outbound delivery truck scans.”

How should industry leaders respond? The answer is clear. Supply-chain companies must embed “analysis, data, and reasoning into the decision-making process. Position analytics as a core capability across the entire organization. Strategic planners through line workers, providing insight at the point of action.”

Want to stay updates with latest developments in our industry? Our Podcast is out! Stay tuned here – Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics:

Some of my other articles (would appreciate your feedback):

About me:

I have been working in consulting and executive search roles for the last decade. My focus: helping clients get better results. And building strong teams in the process.

A fervent believer that people are the key in any business, I enjoy challenging assignments most. The ones that involve using a multitude of channels and tools to find the right senior executive to take our clients business to the next level.

I have lived and worked in several countries across the world. Being exposed to different countries and business realities has helped me mature into a rounded international business manager. And luckily over the years I have had the chance to work with and build great teams.

My focus is on end to end Supply Chain Executive Search: C-level, Vice President, General Management, Supply Chain leadership, Logistics leadership, Procurement leadership, Operations, Regional/Global Project Management appointments.

Always happy to connect on Linkedin for future interactions!

Morgan Philips Executive Search is the headhunting firm – 21st century version. We have created an extremely innovative digital model enabling you to recruit your talent better, quicker and more effective.