GUEST BLOG: DHL EXPRESS U.S.
As CEO of DHL Express U.S., which includes 124 facilities nationwide, my schedule is usually booked with visits to these various operations facilities and offices. However, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, my schedule now consists of working from home in Delray Beach, Florida and enjoying time with my dog Sadie, my girlfriend Ana and her two wonderful daughters.
Without the opportunity to connect face-to-face with colleagues and customers, I’ve had to adapt to remotely leading a company with U.S. (and global) operations -- that has been declared an essential business -- through this pandemic. How am I handling this? I’ve been focused on three key things.
1. Keeping my people safe. We have 1,300 employees, who previously worked from call centers or corporate facilities that are now working from home. However, we have thousands of other employees who are on the “front lines” every day making critical deliveries including PPE for healthcare workers. We are doing everything we can to protect our employees by strictly following CDC guidelines and keeping our teams informed of evolving safety precautions.
2. Keeping the supply chain operational. We have several continuity plans in place for potential disruptions. Thanks to our preparations, we were able to quickly adjust so we can continue to serve our customers as seamlessly as possible. In fact, to honor our efforts, we recently had the amazing opportunity to send one of our DHL couriers, Dylan Madigan, to the White House where he was recognized by President Trump for keeping the nation moving in the face of a crippling outbreak.
3. Keeping my people working. By spreading work across departments, we are being more efficient and ensuring every employee has a job so we can avoid layoffs and furloughs. Keeping a paycheck coming for my employees is very important to me and something I will continue to work towards.
I think most business leaders can agree that we are under a lot of pressure during this economic downturn and global pandemic. What has helped me manage is seeing the bright side of the situation. I’m extremely grateful to have such a strong support system during this time. They have kept me active, laughing and fed. But most importantly, I’m thankful for my health. I’m 49-years old, my family has a history of diabetes and I have asthma, so I’m considered in the high-risk category for COVID-19. I am taking safety measures very seriously, not only for my own benefit, but to protect others, especially since I am in an area of Florida with a large 65+ population.
COVID-19 will certainly create a new normal (at least in the short term) for nearly every industry, including sports. I know all of us at DHL are looking forward to supporting Andretti and cheering on our driver, Ryan Hunter Reay, once racing resumes—even if how we watch or participate in races may change.
As a country, we must embrace these changes and remain resilient, just as we did after 9/11 and the 2008 recession. It may take time, but we must continue to support each other so we can rebuild. For now, stay safe, and don’t forget to thank your couriers!