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Seranne Howis, Senior Team Lead, Regional IT Services, Business Services, SAR, South Africa

Seranne Howis

Senior Team Lead, Regional IT Service, South Africa

Every day is an adventure at DSV! I’m someone who likes to be challenged and I like having problems to solve, so working in IT is a great fit for me. Each day brings new puzzles to solve, and new systems and products to design. The requests come from many different sources. Customers want an innovative product that no other courier company provides them, DSV Management wants new ways to make delivery processes more streamlined and less error-prone, while the DSV operational staff notice an issue in the systems that are slowing down their ability to do their jobs and bring it to us to solve.

I engage directly with clients to give them world-class customer service. I also engage with DSV Management who oversee the business processes and the operational staff who use the systems directly every day, and I try to find ways to satisfy the need for new ways of doing things while also trying to make the operational staff’s ability to do their jobs simpler, easier, and quicker.

I’m a Senior Team Lead in IT, so I have some managerial duties alongside my software development and solution design duties. It’s a full plate of responsibilities but I believe being challenged is the best way to grow and I always go home at the end of the day knowing I did my best for my team, my department, my company, and our customers.

Benefits of working for a global company

DSV has a huge range of skills and talents under their global umbrella. I’ve been able to work directly with and learn from experts in robotics and automation in the Robotics Centre of Excellence in Poland, with specialists in the Testing Centre of Excellence in India, as well as with many other specialist teams across the globe who are all part of the DSV family.  

We also get guidance from our global specialists on how to make our systems more secure and more compliant with the highest standards of design and implementation, therefore having that specialist guidance to help us make decisions is a fantastic asset for our team.

It also means if you want to learn a new skill, there is always someone to go to for guidance and help. There is always the opportunity to grow into a new role or pick up a new skill. Sometimes all you have to do is ask! DSV staff are always happy to answer questions about their specialty and when you express a genuine interest in what they do daily, they’re only too happy to teach you something new.

What I love about working at DSV

With the new DSV Park facility in Kempton Park, I am now working from a fantastic world-class building, alongside hundreds of other people from other divisions. Getting to meet people from other areas is a great way to learn how DSV functions across a much broader spectrum and everything that I learn about how other divisions function is helping to make me a better Team Lead for my own team.

My team is a fantastic group of people who are all happy to raise their hands to help each other out, so no matter your problem, someone will step up to help you meet that deadline or solve that problem. We all pull together, and we learn from each other. When a new problem arises, even if we don’t know how to solve it, we reach out to those who do, and we learn how to solve it ourselves in future.

Career opportunities available at DSV 

I was extremely lucky to be put forward to participate in the Learning and Development Talent Pool programme over the last year. It’s been a life-changing opportunity to learn so many new skills, to meet people from other divisions and learn about how other divisions within DSV work. I’ve had the opportunity to learn finance skills, communication skills, presentation skills, HR skills and many other subjects as well.
The DSV Toastmasters chapter has started up meetings after a two-year shutdown due to Covid, and I’m looking forward to joining and learning public speaking skills with their guidance.

The Regional IT section I work in has recently launched an initiative to give all our IT teams access to a specialist technology and business education online learning portal, in conjunction with the Global Learning and Development team in Denmark. The portal has 25 thousand online courses that cover not only highly specialised technical subjects but also vital business skills such as communication, presentation, conflict management and customer engagement. I volunteered to oversee the initiative and I’m delighted to say that more than 40 staff, and counting, have been given access to the online portal and are already enthusiastically working to improve their skills and knowledge. 

My passions

I love writing and editing, and I used to write for my university’s newspaper as a Science Writer. It’s not something that I thought I would be able to do within the IT space, so when the opportunity arose to write articles for and edit articles for our Regional IT newsletter, I jumped at the chance to do something I love. 

I’m passionate about education and learning. It’s something I actively pursue for myself, and I ended up with a PhD in Genetics before entirely changing my career to be a Software Developer. I also love being able to help other people who are passionate about learning to get access to educational opportunities. DSV believes in investing in the growth of its people and I’ve been lucky enough to be appointed to oversee the online learning portal access for 43 of our IT staff across several teams in South Africa, as well as helping them find other learning opportunities with our Learning and Development department.

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