Laurice Bancroft oversees the U.S. Operations for the DHL Express organization and also sits on the DHL U.S. Management Board where he, along with the CEO, area general managers and functional leaders, help develop the strategic direction of the company. Laurice joined DHL Express U.S. in 1994 where he started as a sales associate and progressed through a number of management positions with increasing responsibility, including district field services manager in New York, regional field services manager located in Boston, national director of hubs in Ontario, Canada, senior director of operations for the Northeast U.S., and most recently, VP and General Area Manager for the Northeast U.S.
1 How does DHL handle the challenges of traffic and congestion in the New York metropolitan area?
Traffic continues to be a challenge in the New York area, but in some cases we have the capability to fly over it thanks to our unique helicopter operation. In New York City and New Jersey, a DHL helicopter service serves our large banking and professional services customers. We provide service from the DHL JFK Gateway to prime U.S. and Federal bank clearing locations, and can complete deliveries up to two hours earlier than we could without the helicopter. We can also walk around the traffic, as we have several foot courier operations (you could say it’s also a “Green” service) in Manhattan’s Midtown East and in Lower Manhattan. Of course, delivery vehicles are the bread and butter of our operation, so we leverage the latest in GPS technology and turn-by-turn navigation to ensure our couriers are using the quickest and most direct route to their stops so we can work as efficiently as possible.
2 What safety measures is DHL taking to ensure the safety of employees, and customers during the pandemic?
We continue to operate with heightened safety measures, which are designed to protect our staff, the public, our customers and our continued operations. For example, we use thermal testing cameras in all our facilities, and a touchless employee temperature checks. All of our facilities are deep cleaned according to CDC COVID-19 standards and personal protective equipment, i.e. masks, gloves, goggles and hand sanitizer, is provided to our employees. In addition, we have made adjustments to our staffing schedules to provide social distancing and to limit the number of employees in the facilities at the same time. Finally, we are piloting kinetics, which are wearable devices that allow us to do digital contract tracing in the event any of our employees test positive for COVID-19.
3 What investments in technology has DHL made to improve its efficiency and customer experience?
So many advances in technology have occurred since I joined the company in the ‘90s, it’s really been a game changer. For example, residential deliveries used to be a struggle when no one was home to receive packages. No one wants to receive an attempt notice on their door. Now, customers can use DHL On Demand Delivery, where shippers can choose to activate specific delivery options and be notified via email or SMS about a shipment’s progress. Customers can select the delivery options that best suits their requirements, including changing the delivery date, authorizing a signature release, picking an alternate delivery location and more. Additionally, customers now have much better shipment visibility and are notified quickly if there is a Customs hold or other issue they need to address. Those are just a few example of how technology has helped DHL create efficiency, and we are continuing to invest heavily in digitalization to improve upon the customer experience.
4 DHL Express was recently ranked #2 on the “Best Place to Work in 2020” list. How do you keep employee satisfaction so high?
Getting to the #2 spot on the “World’s Best Place to Work” list is really a source of pride. The key has been ensuring our employees are happy, engaged and motivated, and we have many programs to support employees as their careers develop. We provide competitive benefits and offer many opportunities for growth. One important program we’ve focused on company-wide is our Certified International Specialist (CIS) program. Every new DHL employee is automatically enrolled in the company’s onboarding and training program (Induction), which assembles weekly classes of new hires from various DHL business units – and different parts of the world – giving them a unique opportunity to build camaraderie and learn about the DHL culture. CIS is an ongoing learning and development journey for our employees that continues throughout their careers.
We also take a frequent pulse check of our employees’ work satisfaction and leverage our Employee Opinion Survey (EOS) to learn how we are progressing as an “Employer of Choice.” Through the survey, employees give us feedback about key strategic topics and their work environment. The EOS is a critical piece of engagement at DHL and gives our employees a voice. Their involvement is essential to identify strengths and areas of improvement so we can continue to create a great employee experience every day.
5 Sustainability is important for all businesses, what is DHL doing to lead in innovation to be great global citizens?
DHL was actually the first international logistics company to announce an environmental target. By year 2050, we want to reduce all logistics-related emissions to zero – a pretty ambitious goal. But we aren’t waiting that long, as we have many interim targets. One includes operating 70% of first- and last-mile delivery services with clean transport modes by 2025. In the U.S., we’ve been introducing many alternative fueled vehicles that include fully electric, hybrid-electric and some clean diesel. In fact, the DHL service center facility in Manhattan was the first facility in our network to launch a fleet of all-green, battery-electric vans. We also have a small fleet of 3-wheeled, low power assist E-Cargo cycles that are being piloted in the Miami area.