“An inspired partner for taking away your IT infrastructure worries”.
Companies like DPD benefit from the fact that increasing numbers of consumers are making their purchases through webshops. . They are a parcel carrier with serious expansion plans, and they partnered with Felton to make the IT aspects of those plans a reality. Michael Radt, the former Interim Infrastructure Services Manager at DPD, praises the flexibility and partner mentality of the service provider from Amersfoort, which now manages half of all DPD depots. “A partner like Felton lets you reliably implement your growth strategy!”
DPD is a name you see on lots of delivery vans in the street. As well as being a big name in global logistics, a cross-border courier that transports everything by road and able to call itself the greenest logistics service provider in Europe. In the Netherlands, DPD (which is part of the international DPD Group) is the key challenger in the market. With Oirschot as its central hub, DPD Nederland currently has eleven depots, including ones in Joure, Tynaarlo, Meppel, Rijssen, Amsterdam (Vijfhuizen), Veenendaal and Maastricht.
For the recently completed new depot in Amsterdam Vijfhuizen, DPD was looking in 2019 for a partner for setting up the IT infrastructure. “When choosing a partner, we looked not only at the project tender but also at future potential,” says Michael Radt. “We were looking for a partner who could also help us manage other existing depots.”
In Vijfhuizen, the focus was on putting together the IT infrastructure, particularly the network part. “Our depots are big sorting factories, hundreds of metres long. We only arranged the fibre-optic connection to the outside world; everything else was done by Felton – the office network and the Wi-Fi network in the hall that the entire IT landscape and all the sorting scanners are connected to. Without that network, nothing can be done at all. DPD doesn’t have a warehouse, so all the parcels that go in every day have to come out again or else the whole process will get stuck. So IT continuity is mission critical for us and the demands we place on IT partners are therefore very high.”
The criteria DPD used for selecting its partner were diverse. Quality was considered first – whether what was being offered met the requirements. When Felton proved to meet that criterion as well as offering an attractive price, talks were continued with that particular candidate. The flexibility they demonstrated was well-received: Felton was able to move with the project’s financing and was dynamic in its planning. It all looked good, according to Radt. “What was decisive for us was the reference visit we made early in 2020 to a major Felton customer, where the existing situation was being managed by Felton. The way the company spoke about Felton and their way of working together gave us the confidence to take the plunge.”
Because that confidence mattered. “Choosing an entirely new party would be a bit of a gamble,” says Radt. “Felton was in a race with the odds-on favourite, who knew us inside out and who our staff were familiar with. Felton handled this delicate situation very carefully, but quickly and effectively too. That created a basis of trust for us to tackle the project with them. And that trust has never been betrayed, not for a moment.”
What struck Radt in Felton’s presentations was their eagerness to seal the deal. “That eagerness has remained throughout the project. You often see parties’ attitudes shifting as soon as the signatures are on the dotted lines. The nice thing about Felton is that they never slackened at any point.” He is very enthusiastic about how they carried out the order in Vijfhuizen. “We built that depot from the ground up within five months. Although the starting date was rescheduled several times, Felton managed to stick to its schedule – the only party that did. The fact that a party in a new working relationship consistently delivers on time, professionally and in accordance with the agreed quality standards is pretty miraculous. That didn’t go unnoticed outside the IT domain either: for once, IT wasn’t on the critical path for delivery! They also managed to develop good relationships with all the stakeholders at every level.”
Given that, following it up by placing the management of Vijfhuizen with Felton was a no-brainer for DPD. In between times, a new Maastricht depot was completed in just five weeks. Felton was asked to provide the IT infrastructure there too. “Maastricht had to be set up very quickly,” says Radt, “just before the peak period of 2020. So we used the momentum of Vijfhuizen to switch immediately to Felton. In this project too, they turned out to be flexible in the way they adapted to our needs.”
DPD is growing fast and in a phase where it has to enter into partnerships for the future very carefully. Felton is at a scale that fits, says Radt. “If things go completely wrong for us, our CEO needs be able to call the IT partner’s CEO directly and get the issue resolved first, before only then talking about money. For DPD, partnership is a keyword in our growth. Felton implements partnership the way we want it: paying attention to our business, with both understanding and a willingness to take action. A partner like that lets you reliably implement your growth strategy!”
“Felton created a basis of trust for us to tackle the project with them. And that trust has never been betrayed, not for a moment.”
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