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Every day, more than 50 people take a leap of faith in Switzerland and become independant or found their own company. Matters of distribution logistics as a means of a link to customers are often under-estimated in the early stages.
For years, many company founders have been placing their trust in DPD Switzerland. With innovative solutions in all aspects of parcel distribution and IT-connections, we accompany young companies in their different stages of growth.
Our special offer for young Swiss companies is aimed at founders of new businesses and freelancers in classical industries as well as start-ups with innovative business ideas driven by technology.
We look forward to hearing from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ETH Zurich, which is one of Europe's leading universities of science and technology, has supported enterprise creation on the basis of research results since the nineties. DPD Switzerland, the country's number one private express and parcel service provider, together with ETH Spin-off Community and the agency Inspire 925, selected nine very promising start-ups in a multi-stage process from well over 300 spin-offs that are registered in the ETH database. Tobias Clemens, head of the Innovation Board at DPD Switzerland, explains: "The age of eCommerce and the digitisation of parcel shipping are rewriting the rules on all markets. We want to find out about innovative technologies "made in Switzerland" and generate new business opportunities from them."
The founders of Scandit, Beekeeper, antavi, ElectricFeel, 3db Technologies, modum.io, Senozon, Insightness and Rapyuta Robotics took up the invitation to attend a pitch. It took place in DPD Switzerland's parcel sorting centre in Buchs ZH, set in an authentic atmosphere. The presentations were followed by a marketplace where the start-ups discussed their solutions at length with managers from DPD. The day was rounded off by a workshop on the current hot topic of Same Day Delivery.
As Tilmann Schultze, CEO of DPD Switzerland, emphasised: "DPD is the ideal partner for internationally ambitious Swiss start-ups with a flair for logistics. As one of the market leaders and innovators in the European parcel business, DPDgroup will enable these home-grown businesses to develop and conquer new markets with our support."
Since summer 2013, the drycleaner.ch service platform has been making it as easy as possible for its customers to have their clothes cleaned. "People's busy working lives take up a lot of their time and energy, so innovative solutions are very welcome in our modern society," explains founder Stefan Steuble. The platform acts as an intermediary between the customer and the laundry and is therefore an enabler for the whole process. On the drycleaner.ch website, the customer selects which garments they want cleaned by a laundry. The clothes are collected free of charge and returned when they have been cleaned. Customers can also determine for themselves where and when the clothes are collected and delivered.
When asked about where the idea came from, co-founder Mikel Lazri said: "Nowadays people want more and more flexibility, and it starts with the small, everyday things in the home. Our platform relieves customers of the tedious, time-consuming chores of washing and ironing and also makes them less dependent on the opening hours of existing textile cleaning service providers."
Drycleaner.ch aims to expand its simplified laundry experience and offer consumers a range of innovative and exciting services. That is why the young company has entered into partnership with DPD Schweiz AG, allowing drycleaner to combine its digital solution with the extensive network of DPD Schweiz AG branches. The clothing is transported by DPD in a specially constructed, secure container. This means customers now have the option of handing in their laundry at one of 600 pick-up shops for cleaning and then collecting it from there again later. A pilot project is currently under way in Zurich. Over the coming months, the service will be extended to other cities in Switzerland.
Internationalisation is a key factor in the success of Swiss SMEs and startups because there is only limited scope for economies of scale in the small domestic market. DPD Switzerland offers bespoke cross-border solutions for accessing EU countries and talked about these services at its first joint event with the IFJ Institute for Young Companies.
Every day, more than 50 people in Switzerland take a leap of faith and become self-employed or found their own company. Many young companies that survive the initial set-up phase – whether they are in established or ground-breaking sectors of industry – face one key challenge: the Swiss market is limited and in many respects saturated. Growth can only be achieved by expanding beyond national borders.
With the EU, we have a huge market of over half a billion people right on our doorstep. Indeed, Germany, France and Italy, three of our four main trading partners, border directly on to Switzerland and we also speak their official languages. So it goes without saying that young companies in Switzerland target the EU as a potential sales market. However, most startups obviously have no expertise on matters of logistics, customs duties or taxes.
At a kick-off event in early July under the slogan: "Thinking about new markets? We can take you there", DPD Switzerland explained how founders of new businesses in Switzerland can access the EU market without having to set up a marketing organisation over the border or even having to think about relocating. Despite the wonderful summer weather, over 30 people accepted the invitation to find out more about ways of sending goods abroad to private and business customers, how to manage returns, warehousing and fiscal representation.
The venue for this event was our site in Hésingue (FR), where TD Express SA, a 100% subsidiary of DPD Switzerland AG, has a branch just over the Swiss border in the EU. Among other things, this provides customs clearance, warehousing and commissioning services for small-scale Swiss shippers.
Jonathan Martin, Customs Clearance Manager, DPD Switzerland AG, addressed all aspects of exporting in detail and answered numerous questions from the audience. Afterwards, Francesco Spagnolo, CEO of David AG, explained how his company serves the whole of the EU from Switzerland and, thanks to DPD, is able to concentrate on its core business.
This information event, which was organised in cooperation with our partner the IfJ, the Institute for Young Companies in the Basel region, was a great success. It demonstrated that, for many Swiss startups, expanding into the EU market is a matter of the highest priority. It is important to be well-prepared before taking this step, to ensure that cross-border deliveries run as smoothly as those within Switzerland.