DHL Express OSO
An Online Supplies Ordering platform, boosting the speed and effectiveness of a global delivery network
A simple but effective online shopping website designed to facilitate key customer's interactions with DHL logistic services, keeping them always equipped with the necessary packaging support. Currently deployed in 20 countries and capable of being easily rolled out in many more countries.
Part of the world's leading logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group, operating in over 220 countries and territories, DHL Express is a global express network transporting urgent documents and goods reliably and on time from door to door. It’s 100,000 employees provide services to 2.7 million business and private customers worldwide.
One of the most common challenges when providing such services is assuring constant supply to key clients of essential packaging materials such as boxes, envelopes, labels, etc.
It is essential to the operator - especially in international air transportation optimization - to make sure that packaging used by clients is compliant with the operator’s standard quality, sizes, and weight requirements.
The operator, therefore, prefers clients to use standard network supplies instead of random substandard packaging materials.
Initially the ordering of network supplies by DHL Express customers was a process that differed from country to country, sometimes complete manual.
As a result, business expressed the need for improvements, with specific business objectives in mind:
- a standard application that streamlines that specific process, whilst helping to better manage and monitor it
- a solution that enhances the customer experience
- simplicity and flexibility of the final application, supporting a relatively simple business process, but on the other hand, allowing for country-specific differences
Through a process of requirement analysis with the client’s business representatives, we created a fit-for-purpose digital solution in the form of a compact web-based platform, that allows customers to simply order their network supplies and stay informed of the order progress.
Balancing speed and cost-effectiveness we decided that PHP/Postgres tech stack would be our environment of choice.
The development process included:
- development of a product database
- development of an administrator interface allowing for the various administrative tasks (product portfolio maintenance, cyclic orders, reporting, access management, etc.)
- design and development of an easy to use customer interface
- API integration with DHL Express data for authorization purposes
Benefits and future prospects
There’s nothing more satisfying for a development team than seeing their solution, simple, effective, and user-friendly enough to gradually spread across new areas and environments. Both in the Netherlands and the UK customer satisfaction was measured through the DHL Net Promoter Approach (NPA) process, and in both cases, OSO achieved high scores. Several months after the pilot implementation of the platform in the Netherlands it was introduced in five other European countries: France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Finland, and Ireland.
Based on the positive feedback of the initial version of OSO, both from customers and DHL business owners, it was decided to continue the development of the app. Three years after the launch of the initial OSO, we have unveiled a brand new version, labeled OSO2.
The most important innovation is the function that allows us to easily set up national versions of the application. It no longer requires a new, separate installation for each country. The localization is now done simply by using the various configuration options. When a new language version of the interface is needed, it can be provided through the backoffice interface. The application is also prepared to run smoothly in any relevant language.
Being equipped with these functions the application is now capable of being rolled out to many more countries with minimum effort and cost.