Realigning service operations strategy at DHL Express

Tim Coltman, John Gattorna, Stuart Whiting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the approach that DHL used to respond to aggressive revenue and profit targets set by its Asia-Pacific regional management board. DHL's reaction to these targets was to redefine its strategic service vision by systematically aligning its internal support functions with distinct buyer behavior structures. Specifically, we developed a model based on the tangible and intangible factors that directly influence a customer's choice of a third-party logistics provider. Next, we reverse engineered the service provider's delivery system to align with each customer's preferred buying behavior. DHL's share of wallet and profitability immediately improved, enabling the company to maintain its leading position in the market. Quantitative and qualitative results show an improvement in DHL's market share, customer satisfaction scores, and employee opinion survey results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-183
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • third-party logistics
  • service concept
  • survey research
  • discrete choice modeling
  • latent class segmentation


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