June 25, 2020: DHL Supply Chain has launched a new ‘plug & play’ robotics platform in collaboration with Microsoft, and artificial intelligence (AI) driven digital fulfilment provider Blue Yonder.

In February this year, JDA Software was renamed as Blue Yonder as part of a re-branding initiative to better align the company’s name with its cloud transformation and product roadmap. The new Blue Yonder branding began in Q2 2020. JDA acquired Blue Yonder in August 2018.

The robotics platform significantly reduces integration time and programming efforts to on-board new automation devices into warehouse facilities, while giving DHL customers more flexibility in selecting suitable robotics systems according to their individual business needs. The solution leverages Microsoft Azure IoT and cloud platform services.

Markus Voss, global CIO and COO at DHL Supply Chain said, "We have more than 2,000 operational sites across DHL Supply Chain, so we know how complex, time-consuming and costly it can be to integrate new robots into existing platforms and connect to our clients' various warehouse management systems. This is exactly where the new platform is so effective. Our first implementation on the new platform with 6 River Systems at one of our Madrid sites is already showing a 60 percent reduction in integration times, but with subsequent deployments we foresee further improvements of up to 90 percent."

The robotics platform is powered by Blue Yonder's Luminate Platform with machine-learning (ML)-driven task management capabilities that enable the highest level of warehouse operational efficiency.

"By using Blue Yonder's Luminate platform, DHL was able to offer a solution that can be implemented across all of its distribution centre sites seamlessly through a cloud SaaS application. In the age of labour market shortages during peak season, DHL sites can now bring on a robotics vendor quickly to augment its resource capacity and support its workforce," said Girish Rishi, CEO, Blue Yonder.

With this collaboration, DHL Supply Chain, Microsoft and Blue Yonder combine their strengths in customer-centric contract logistics, secure cloud computing at global scale, and seamless end-to-end supply chain integration to improve warehouse management and operational excellence for a wide range of industry customers.

Meanwhile in May, Microsoft and FedEx Corp announced a new multiyear collaboration to help transform commerce by combining the global digital and logistics network of FedEx with the power of Microsoft’s Azure and Dynamics 365.

Last month, DHL Global Forwarding, the group’s air and ocean freight specialist, has launched myDHLi, an integrated online platform for freight forwarding customers. The pilot phase of launch will be in five continents - North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

The digital initiatives come in accordance with Deutsche Post DHL Group’s ‘Strategy 2025 – delivery excellence in a digital world’, which includes four key areas of focus: globalisation, e-commerce, digitisation and sustainability.

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