Business News

“We have a relentless focus on making the consumer experience easier, faster and simpler” – CEO Q&A: Des Travers, DPD

By Business & Finance
25 September 2019

In this week’s CEO Q&A, Des Travers, CEO of DPD, tells Business and Finance how they’ve been getting Brexit-ready and adopting new recruitment strategies. 

Q. What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

To continue to build double digit growth in our business while maintaining our core values and customer proposition.

Q. What are your biggest challenges as CEO?

Maintaining quality and delivery a service standard of 99% plus everyday across 24m deliveries a year.

Q. How do you keep your team/staff motivated?

We spend most of our time analysing and improving our performance so the team is constantly challenged to drive improvements and cost efficiencies in a good way. This creates a great working environment as we are quick and dynamic. We are leading our market in many of our initiatives so it’s not hard to get good people to come along with us on the journey.

Q. What are the challenges facing the industry?

Brexit, Brexit and Brexit, but we are ready for any outcome and our customers have been inundated with our communications, reminding them to make sure they are ready. There is no “good” Brexit but our priority is to keep the parcels moving and our customers satisfied within the new controls that will be placed on us.

Q. How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?

Our preparations for Brexit started more than two years ago and we are ready for any outcome. We have invested close to €3m on it to date and still, like everyone else, we are uncertain of the possible outcome. We now have a Brexit department of over 20 people who have been trained and are capable of steering our customers, their consumers and the parcels to deliver a great final mile experience.

Q. What new trends are emerging in your industry?

There is a definite continuation of the e-commerce companies driving volume into the home delivery market and we are best placed with our notifications to consumers, our one hour delivery window, and 99% service plus, to maximise this opportunity.

Q. As an employer are you finding any skill gaps in the market?

No. We are hiring graduates, apprentices and highly technical IT specialists.

However, recruits in the driver and warehouse personnel area are becoming difficult to find and, therefore, we are adopting a different strategy and moving to flexible working and part time routes.

Q. How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?

We had to trade our way through it and we had to make some difficult commercial decisions to enable us to face the challenges. It was not our desired choice but we put capital expenditure on hold and stopped a number of projects which thankfully we have now been able to complete

Q. How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

I love this business and there is nothing better than being with a great team delivering great things. We have a relentless focus on making the consumer experience easier, faster and simpler.

Q. What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?

Never be completely satisfied, always look for opportunities to do it better; otherwise you will be overtaken in the long run.

Q. What have been your highlights in business over the past year?

We will achieve record revenues over €100m and record profits so our shareholders are delighted with us.

Q. What’s next for your company?

We are going to deliver a carbon strategy for our final mile deliveries that reduces our company’s carbon footprint. We will make Ireland cleaner, one delivery at a time. This is very important to us and we believe it is the responsibility of each company to undertake a similar initiative. 

Q. Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?

Exactly where it is today, trusted by our customers to deliver their promises every day.

Q. Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?

No, we are all busy enough trying to meet today’s challenges.