Being the first choice for every customer
How First Choice is changing the company
Deutsche Post DHL Group is the biggest logistics company in the world. But for us, that's not enough. For our customers the world over we also want to be the best, all the time. Like in any other company, there is always potential for improvement at Deutsche Post DHL Group. The difference between a good company and an excellent one is how this potential is unlocked and put to work.
This is why, in 2006, we launched First Choice, a Group-wide continuous improvement program with the goal of providing nothing but excellent service in all areas of our business and becoming the number one choice for our customers worldwide. Since its inception, First Choice has become one of the core elements of our corporate strategy, helping Deutsche Post DHL Group unlock the existing potential within the Group. But what is First Choice?
The aim is to mobilize the employees for a continuous improvement process.
First and foremost, First Choice is an attitude. It's a mindset that has to be adopted by each and every one of us at Deutsche Post DHL Group - managers and employees alike. What makes First Choice so special is that our employees are directly involved in the continuous improvement process, working in their immediate work environments to optimize service and to turn our customers into devoted fans. It is built on the philosophy of ‘Everybody, Everyday, Everywhere, a little bit better’. This means that in over the 220 countries we are present, each of our team members are improving something every day, to ensure that the customers’ life is simplified and they get the most out of the interaction with us.
First Choice is by far the most extensive program ever launched by Deutsche Post DHL Group as it aims to mobilize all approximately 500,000 of its employees in identifying potential improvement measures and implementing them. The idea is a good one, but to make it work, the right tools are needed. First Choice therefore provides our employees with everything they need in the form of a tried and true methodology that combines the Six Sigma and Lean approaches to business process improvement (for e.g. Performance Dialogs, Gemba, Problem Solving Techniques, DMAIC, etc.).
The method involves a systematic yet intuitive set of steps: Customer satisfaction is measured and processes are analyzed step by step through Gemba. Problems are identified and solutions are found or developed in response through performance dialogs and problem solving techniques. The success of the measures is also monitored to ensure sustainable continuous improvement. With the help of specially designed workshop formats, employees trained in the methodology support their colleagues in implementing First Choice. To date, a total of 29,000 employees have been trained in the First Choice methodology and more than 100,000 employees worldwide have become directly involved in the initiative.
Success that speaks for itself
Dr. Frank Appel, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deutsche Post DHL Group: "With First Choice, we have been able to achieve tangible improvements in both service and customer focus across all divisions of the Group worldwide. We aim not just to satisfy, but to enthuse our customers with our corporate performance."
The success of program speaks for itself: Since its rollout, First Choice has already been introduced in nearly all of the 220 countries and territories in which the Group operates. More than 25,000 optimization initiatives have already been carried out and over 26,000 employees are involved in Performance Dialog discussions every day.
Some projects are designed to improve the service for a single customer, while others have been developed to impact customers countrywide. First Choice doesn't stop there, however-some measures have even been developed to benefited customers worldwide. Behind each and every one of these success stories are our employees, who are committed to providing excellent service to both their internal and external customers. Techniques such as Performance Dialog, Gemba and Problem Solving help provide a high focus on Customer processes and performance to ensure a qualitative output for our Customers worldwide.
Customers are not the only ones benefiting from First Choice. Employees who initiate continuous improvements within their own work environments and areas of expertise are more effective and as a result, are more motivated. Group-wide programs such as First Choice also pay off for investors. Outstanding service is Deutsche Post DHL Group's answer to becoming the number one company of choice for worldwide logistics services and a quality leader, and this makes the company even more attractive for potential investors and its existing shareholders.