DHL Freight needed a unified transport management system to take the organization into the digital feature. The project is called E4U, and Sofia, Bulgaria, was chosen for the newly-created R&D (Research and Development) center. To learn more about what happened next and the importance of junior IT talent, we talked to one of the newest Telerik Academy partners - DHL Freight Enterprise Software Solutions (ESS), part of the DHL Freight organization.
“Deutsche Post DHL Group’s Strategy 2025 – Delivering excellence in a digital world’ was one of the reasons to establish the ‘Evolution 4 You (E4U)’ project within the Freight division. Its purpose is to introduce a unified transport management system (TMS) in all DHL Freight Terminals in Europe. In the beginning of 2017 Sofia was proposed as a great place for the new development team. Once the decision was taken, a talent hunt began," explained Irina Slavcheva, Knowledge Manager at our partner DHL Freight Enterprise Software Solutions.
"The first of the recruited talents was the person who would later become the future head of development, and soon four top Java developers followed."
This was the beginning of the EVO project in DHL Freight ESS - a transport management system that will transform the future of DHL and bring it into the digital future.
And the local office kept growing.
From a couple of employees in 2017, today, the team consists of 57 people working here and managing two other new R&D locations - Prague and Cologne.
"It's a steady growth, and the management facilitates strong working relations between the team members. We are proud of our supportive work environment," added Irina Slavcheva. She has been part of the DHL Freight ESS
team for more than 4 years. Having joined the company as a Quality Assurance specialist, with time she became the lead of the QA team and recently changed her position to focus on knowledge management.
"My current position allows me to take an active role in the onboarding process of new colleagues and maintain our knowledge resources," she explained.
DHL Freight, EVO, and the R&D office in Sofia
DHL Freight is one of the top worldwide employers. The team of DHL Freight ESS has played a central role in its most significant digital transformation, changing the daily work of thousands of its more than 13,000 employees.
"In the early stages of the project, a couple of established IT companies offered solutions which did not meet all our requirements. The reason was that their ideas were for an IT-driven project and what DHL needed was (and still is) a business-driven project."
At this point, it was decided to establish an international R&D team. This marked the beginning of the Sofia office, focused on the launch of the EVO project - a unified transport management system that can take the organization into the digital future while staying true to the principle that DHL Freight is connecting people and improving lives.
"EVO makes it possible for us to execute all important functions from order entry to invoicing in a single IT platform and make data available in real-time to all Freight countries. Currently, the system is fully implemented in 19 countries, and the ultimate goal is to be implemented in 32," shared Irina Slavcheva.
"People come first."
"Excellence. Simply Delivered" is DHL Freight's tagline, but Irina Slavcheva shared that it's also something that can truly describe the drive of the local R&D office.
"We never stop striving for excellence, learning from each other and being agile in our way of work," adding that those values and the supportive work environment remained constant during the pandemic and even when the team lost their head of development to COVID-19. The team continued to deliver what is expected and beyond.
The partnership with Telerik Academy
"Telerik Academy has a proven record as the best IT academy on the market in Bulgaria. The quality of the program and the great selection of talents are what we were attracted to," explained Irina Slavcheva, adding that the previous good experience of collaboration with the Academy also helped the decision.
The importance of junior talent
"Investment in young talent is the best investment in the future that we can make," shared Irina Slavcheva, describing the importance of the junior IT specialist.
As a company that grew from a couple of employees to more than 50, DHL Freight ESS
has a great experience with investment in junior talent. Today, some of these talents are already tech leads taking responsibility for the software's quality while mentoring new joiners.
"The onboarding period of 6 months is structured and adapted to be smooth for the junior trainees as long as they have the drive to succeed."
What's next for the DHL Freight ESS office in Bulgaria? Here's the answer
"We are finalizing our modern state of art renovation of the office to make it adequate to the post-Covid era and the new way of hybrid work. We have designed the office for these great people that reflects our corporate values - we care about our DHL family where people come first, and never stop learning. We are also expanding the team and scaling EVO to be adopted in multiple countries in Europe."
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