Ending the conference on a high, four start-ups participated in a Shark Tank competition, in which entrepreneurs presented their ideas before an expert jury consisting of Dr. Alex von Frankenberg of High-Tech Gründerfonds, renowned founder and tech investor Frank Thelen of Freigeist, and Peer Bentzen of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The start-up of choice, KWIK, won and will have the chance to conduct a proof of concept with DHL and showcase its solution at the DHL Innovation Center.
KWIK impressed the judges with its online shopping solution that allows customers to reorder their favorite products with just the push of a button. KWIK’s open marketplace and analytics dashboard also offers brands the ability to develop a direct relationship with customers.
“It was a great platform to illustrate how our solution combines the Internet of Things and online shopping to the benefit of both customers and companies,” said Ofer Klein, CEO and Co-founder of KWIK.
Pushing the limits of logistics
DHL also recognized the most innovative customer solution from the past year. Michiel Greeven, Executive Vice President Sales Europe, DHL Express presented the honor to PACCAR Parts in recognition of their role in the co-creation DHL MetriX Freight, a high-potential dimensioning system developed by startup company Metrilus GmbH, jointly with DHL’s innovation team. The need for a modern, low-cost, high performance dimensioning system was identified during an Innovation Center tour and workshop. Based on the camera sensors of a renowned game console manufacturer and Metrilus state-of-the-art software algorithms, DHL MetriX Freight allows for accurate measurement of a piece of freight – regardless of shape – in less than a second, a process that previously required up to a minute and two employees. A pilot was conducted with DHL, PACCAR Parts, and software start-up Metrilus and subsequently scaled up to five additional DHL sites. PACCAR Parts has shown a people- and quality-first approach, promoting a culture highly receptive to new technologies. Ever looking towards the next innovation, DHL and PACCAR’s brand DAF will conduct a platooning pilot to demonstrate the safety and efficiency of wirelessly-linked truck combinations, or “platoons”, in 2019.
Keynote speakers inspired attendees with new insights on social issues and technology. Thomas Ogilvie, Board Member for Human Resources at Deutsche Post DHL Group, emphasized how cultural change and innovation can be mutually beneficial, while Lufthansa’s Dr. Christian Langer presented the impact of digitalization and evolving planning processes on business improvement efforts. Anab Jain of Superflux discussed future-focused topics from the internet of things to climate change in her talk on why imagining different futures matters.
DHL Innovation Day presents a chance to bring together senior supply chain leaders, innovators, industry partners, and start-ups once a year to push the limits of logistics and technology. Here the audience sees live demonstrations of new prototypes and participates through interactive workshops, voting on challenge winners, and the active exchange of ideas. DHL’s challenges for 2017 focused on social issues, tech, and entrepreneurship and allowed an opportunity for bright minds from around the world to showcase ideas that could change the landscape of the logistics industry.
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