Our QBE team is dedicated to ensuring that our customers can book a container just as easily as a flight. To reach this goal, a cross-functional team from Business and IT has been very successful developing the needed software – the Quotation & Booking Engine (QBE) – and thereby advancing agilely into the future.
André Wilke is Senior Director, Global Head of Revenue Management. He originally wanted to become an IT development engineer, so he studied computer science engineering. But then he discovered his fascination for container shipping. “Since I started at Hapag-Lloyd almost a dozen years ago, the company has grown immensely – to become one of the largest shipping lines in the world,” he says. And with that growth have come many changes. “The world has changed a lot – and now we have to be able to do everything quickly, easily and reliably on a smartphone or tablet,” adds his colleague Timo Dreier, Director IT - Sales, Uptake Management and Pricing. And that’s exactly what the QBE aims to do. Several factors are playing a role in these efforts, such as whether a booking can be fulfilled, whether our ships sail on the particular route, and whether the needed equipment is available. Then it must be checked whether the cargo has been declared correctly and whether all the customs-related issues have been resolved.
Having IT and Business work together as a single team has been the mission and strategic success factor in these efforts. “We asked ourselves how our customers, partners, terminals, infrastructure and supply chain have changed, and then we tried to bring booking and supply as close together as possible – with digitalisation, automation and customer self-service,” André explains, to which Timo adds: “By doing so, we have been able to ensure that every customer can easily book with us – no matter where they are.”
Since its foundation in 2021, the QBE team has grown a lot. It started with 35 developers and 20 Business colleagues from all levels of the hierarchy. “By mid-2022, we had almost quadrupled in size – and the team continues to grow,” Timo says. “What’s impressive about this is the cross-functional collaboration that knows no limits. This relates to technologies, ways of working, teamwork and global cooperation across all departmental boundaries.”
With a laugh, André says that this exciting and challenging path has turned out to be the right decision, adding: “I hope that it continues like this for a long time!”