#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?

Related Episodes:

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

Related Posts:

HR should act like Marketeers!
HR should act like Marketeers!
Blockchain - Revolution in Supply Chain?
Blockchain – Revolution in Supply Chain?
7 tips on how to negotiate your salary
7 tips on how to negotiate your salary

Listen to all our past episodes:

Top 3 Skills Logistics Companies want to recruit in 2018

Top 3 Skills Logistics Companies want to recruit in 2018

The face of the typical logistics professional has morphed. This has resulted in the process of recruitment in the logistics and supply chain industries being more streamlined to identify innovative candidates who can speak the right mix of languages, with the right set of skills. In addition to logistics professionals, the increase in the need to recruit digital technology/ IT professionals is indisputable; their contribution is equally crucial to the safe and effective running of such large international businesses that are heavily dependent on data analytics and processing and other innovative advancements.

These shifts from tradition are direct results of the logistics industry having come a long way from being all about mechanics to lift goods, vessels to transport goods, and space to store goods. Being able to move items does not cut it anymore; clients need their items tomorrow, if not right now, and that to at lower cost. Virtually every existing industry has been put through pressure to work faster, safer and smarter since the rise of information technology and logistics is no exception.

In recent times and especially in 2018, we will again witness a plethora of changes. We discuss 3 such developments.


Individuals and businesses want their goods faster and more flexibly. End consumers often make their purchasing decisions based on how fast they can receive their items at low or better yet, no delivery cost. The manufacturing industry is producing more and more customised solutions, which is good for its customers but hard work for the logistics industry. Put all these push factors together, and logistics companies are squeezed in the same pressure cooker environment.

The demands are met though, by making maximum and intelligent use of technology; from data analytics, to automation, to the Internet of Things (IoT). Cost reduction is a crucial benefit to digitisation, along with improved efficiency, and the opportunity to make genuine breakthroughs in the way the industry works. New industry entrants are finding ways to carve out the more lucrative elements of the value chain by exploiting digital technology or ‘sharing’ business models, without being bogged down by heavy overhead. ‘Sharing’ is a big move for logistics now, from Uber-style approaches to last-mile delivery, to more formal JVs and partnerships at corporate level, the whole sector is redefining collaboration. These ventures are only possible with digitisation.

As a result, the need to recruit digital/IT experts is now high within the logistics sector. Recruitment of skills such as analytics and systematization, systems integration/ business solutions specialisation are required to manage complex IT projects and analyse system and infrastructure integration plans.

Also, the term digital transformation is on a the agenda of many boards and CEOs and we expect the recruitment of such skills to be more and more in demand.

Blockchain Technology

With digitization come inevitable risks in security, and blockchain technology is here to help.

The appeal of blockchain technology is its ability to create decentralized and immutable ledgers; networks that have no single point of failure, are maintained by multiple parties and whose information cannot be hacked or corrupted. This increases the security and transparency of all information that is stored on a blockchain across the cycle of a transaction. All the entities in the chain agree that each transaction is valid in terms of payment, warehousing, transport and/or delivery.

Blockchain also can increase the tracking and transparency of the supply chain. Shippers can gain more visibility across their supply chain and communicate important information such as loads, geo-waypoints and basic compliance information with carriers. Similarly, carriers can continually post information about their capacity for shipping vehicles and lanes, promoting fairest pricing based on supply and demand. The transparency and efficiency provided by the blockchain benefits all parties by allocating resources in the most effective way without markups by brokers.

The Philippines’ Top 40 Trendy Startups of 2017

Corporations and consortia around the globe are starting to invest in and partner with blockchain startups that are building proofs of concept in order to test solutions prior to commercialization. Marine Transport International (MIT) is using the technology to record and store Verified Gross Mass (VGM) data. The company, which is part of BiTA (Block Chain in Transport Alliance) , is building a fully integrated supply chain management system that gives insight into each stage of the logistics process. In addition, the company aims to create a decentralized brokerage system. This will essentially be an open marketplace for shippers and carriers. The end goal: optimising cost and time for every shipment.

To be able to carry out such feats, a solid understanding of the principles around blockchain systems and strong software development or engineering skills are essential. Recruiting the experts is hard. Experience in a back-end developer role is sufficient foundation, along with at least fundamental knowledge on cryptography. However these skills are scarce and companies need to be prepared to invest in training and education.

E-Commerce Booming

Amazon Prime Now’s 2-hour delivery service is the sort of level we are currently being catered to as consumers. Whether we are a pampered lot or not is up for debate, but expecting to get what we want on-demand is becoming the norm.

Due to the well-spread availability of internet connection services, the ease of purchasing items with a few taps on your phone and the promise of cheap and quick shipping, e-commerce has become a dominant market disruptor in the retail economy. Its share of total retail sales which is currently at around 10% worldwide will only grow larger; there was an increase of 23.2% in 2017 compared to the previous year. An urgency exists for logistics providers to rise to new supply chain challenges so as to close the gap between current offering and consumer needs.

Most retail giants at the moment have a broad distribution strategy in which they can reach most of their customer base in two or three days. There is a need now to switch to having smaller, regional centres allocated to serve each area batch of customers, from which they can deliver on the same day. This also translates to purchasing less quantity each order of faster-moving inventory and using a more diffuse supply chain network.

The need to recruit competent, quick-thinking managers to run operations in an ecommerce focused way is more critical than ever to retailers and third party logistics companies both big and small. Companies want problem-solvers with commercial awareness, numeracy and a thirst to further boost their business and management skills.

It looks like the future is bright for logistics professionals and logistics companies that work smart, welcome innovation, and take advantage of new technologies to give themselves an edge over competitors in this dynamic industry.


Want to stay updated 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!