GROWTH THROUGH QUALITY

Lebanon 2019 | TRANSPORT | INTERVIEW

Hiring and developing excellent people, coupled with high-quality service, has helped DHL maintain growth and rise above challenges.

John Chedid
BIOGRAPHY
After years of working in the hospitality and real estate industries, John Chedid began his career in the logistics sector by joining DHL. He was appointed DHL Country Manager for Lebanon in 1997. He holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.

How was 2018 for DHL?

Overall, 2018 was not a bad year. It was difficult at a macroeconomic level but we did manage to grow our revenue. That was due, in large part, to our team, which did an outstanding job by going the extra mile. To maintain a high level of performance, DHL invests heavily in training and continuously motivating the team, whether it be through the annual MENA football tournament attended by over 1,000 employees or our Employee Recognition Program, which identifies and rewards high-performing individuals. The company's certified International Specialist training program is another key component of its motivational strategy and has been in place for over 10 years. It has seen tremendous financial investment and continues to go from strength to strength. The program is continuously evolving and provides the knowledge our people need to properly serve our customers. Notably, DHL Lebanon was voted best employer in the Middle East in a survey conducted by AON Hewitt as were a number of other DHL entities in MENA and around the world. A strong focus and commitment to quality has been another key to our success. Investments in security, facilities, technology, and equipment were made again in 2018 and resulted in the highest service performance the company has ever achieved.

What are the company's CSR strategies?

DHL has three main CSR programs at the global level: Go Help, Go Teach, and Go Green. The Go Help team, comprised of DHL employees, works with the UNDP and other agencies to support countries affected by natural disasters and trains them how to prepare for them. DHL contributes its logistics capabilities, man power, equipment, aircraft, and know-how to support relief efforts and the training program. Go Teach supports local initiatives mainly for children who do not have the opportunity to obtain an education. We support Teach for Lebanon, for example, at a global level, to help children in impoverished areas access higher levels and standards of education. This global support is supplemented by the involvement of the local team with the various programs and initiatives in Lebanon. Our third program is Go Green, which has several platforms globally. One of which is a service that provides customers the ability to offset the carbon footprint of their shipments. On another front, DHL recently became involved in the development of electric delivery vehicles. At a more local level, we are involved in reforestation, recycling, and other such programs. We also focus on recycling and do our best to ensure our waste, including electronic waste, does not end up in a landfill. Our delivery fleet is renewed every four or five years, which is a major investment that maintains efficiency and limits emissions.

What are your business strategies for 2019?

In past interviews we talked about our 2020 strategy, called Focus 2020, built on growth through quality. Our aim is to grow and do so by improving quality. That involves making sure we hire the most qualified people, train them, and keep them motivated. In line with that, we will continue to make sure our service improves. As I mentioned earlier, we will also continue to make investments in other than training and development. Our delivery fleet will be replaced in 2019 at a cost of USD 1 million. Two large delivery vehicles were just upgraded at a cost of EUR100,000, and our CCTV system is in the process of being upgraded. USD600,000 worth of security equipment that includes a state-of-the-art cargo X-ray screening machine was recently purchased, and there are plans to improve our efficiency by installing new material handling equipment at a cost of USD200,000. Finally, the Middle East fleet of Boeing 757s was recently upgraded to Boeing 767s, one of which lands in Beirut five times per week. This is a significant capacity upgrade and further testament to our commitment to investing in quality. Simply put, our strategy is growth through quality.