All companies have become data companies in the digital era. This is illustrated none the better than by DPD. For a parcel delivery company like DPD, it is crucial to always have access to the right data. Only then can they let customers know where their package is and when it will be delivered. DPD engaged Simac's C&I department to support its data-minded strategy in their warehouse- and office environment, as well as in their datacenter.
Data company that delivers packages
Handling 30 million parcels per year, DPD Belgium is one of the leading players in the parcel delivery market. The company markets itself as an innovator in the digital field. CIO Wim Nagels likes to describe his organization as "a data company that delivers packages". "The importance of connectivity is constantly increasing, as is the speed with which we want to receive data," says Timothy De Ben, ICT Infrastructure Manager at DPD Belgium. "That is why we decided to adapt our infrastructure in several areas, which included reviewing and expanding the WiFi infrastructure in all depots. Realizing a lot of our equipment was outdated, we decided to renew it in all of our depots."
DPD immediately went for the latest standard, WiFi 6, to provide the latest handheld terminals and mobile devices with a fast and good wireless network. DPD issued an RFP to which ten companies could tender. The Cabling & Infrastructure department of Simac Belgium finally emerged as the winner.
"When choosing a supplier, we consider both the technical proposal and the overall cost. What is equally important to us, is when a potential supplier makes the effort to get to know our business. In that respect, Simac scored extremely well. They spontaneously asked to visit a depot to observe exactly how we work, and showed interest in our business processes, ... That knowledge visibly translated into the quotation they submitted."
DPD was charmed by the total solution offered by Simac, which included both fiber optic and copper cabling, plus all WiFi access points and the required switches. Simac offered a complete CommScope structured cabling and a Ruckus cloud-based WiFi solution.
During project acceptance, DPD expressed their extreme satisfaction with Simac's qualitative approach. Simac conducted a preliminary wireless survey - to make sure the initial WiFi design fitted the building’s structure. "On some points, they found out that we had foreseen too few access points. We like a partner to think along with us in this way, who allows us to anticipate, based on his expertise." Simac's quality was also evident in the way they laid and labelled the cables and in the extensive post-intervention documentation they provided.
Adjust plans because of Corona
Due to the unexpected e-commerce peak during Corona, DPD had to adjust its plans. In 2020, for example, four completely new depots were put into operation in just four months. Simac provided the necessary fiber optic connections, structured copper cabling, switches and access points. "Simac showed itself to be very flexible. Everything had to be ready a week before Black Friday, and Simac pulled out all the stops to make that happen," said De Ben. "Simac has the same DNA as DPD, which is characterized by a can-do attitude and the will to go for it together. It was impressive to see how Simac was working at four locations simultaneously." In addition to the new depots in Asse-Zellik, Lummen, Puurs and Sint-Niklaas, Simac was recently selected for the brand-new hub that DPD is currently building in Vilvoorde." De Ben: This new project will see the most modern, fully automatic sorting system implemented to support DPD’s growth."
No Wifi without cabling
The figures prove how important cabling remains in a predominant WiFi era: overall, Simac installs 125 km of cat6A structured cabling and 9 km of OM4 fiber optic cable at DPD depots. Additionally, Simac supplies and implements 110 switches and more than 250 WiFi 6 access points for all projects combined.
"DPD offered us the opportunity to put all of our qualities at play," says Andy Vanbrabant, director of the C&I department within Simac Belgium. "These are substantial projects where we can offer a total solution, and subsequently carry out the entire implementation with our own teams. The fact that DPD and Simac have the same entrepreneurial mentality, made the collaboration even more pleasant."
DPD in Belgium is part of DPDgroup, the largest international parcel delivery network in Europe.
We combine innovative technology and local knowledge to provide a flexible and user-friendly service for both shippers and shoppers. With our industry-leading Predict service, we are setting a new standard for convenience by keeping our customers in close contact with their delivery.
As part of DPDgroup, DPD Belgium has access to over 58,000 local Pickup points worldwide, of which more than 2,000 in the Benelux. DPD delivers to over 230 countries worldwide. With 97,000 delivery experts, we deliver 7.5 million parcels each day – 1.9 billion parcels per year – through the brands DPD, Chronopost, SEUR and BRT.
At DPDgroup we aim to be a reference in sustainable delivery and become a leading enabler of e-commerce acceleration. DPDgroup is the parcel delivery network of GeoPost, which posted sales of €11 billion in 2020. GeoPost is a holding company owned by Le Groupe La Poste. For more information: www.dpd.be.