Anne-Sophie Lotgering (Proximus): "We firmly believe in co-creation"

23/09/2022 — minutes reading time
Anne Sophie Lotgering

"We are in the midst of a digital transformation. Many companies - not only in logistics - are asking themselves how best to meet this challenge. Sometimes they can't see the wood for the trees. We can support them with our expertise in telecommunications, cloud, Internet of Things, security, resilience and so on. We do this best if we also know their needs. So we regularly invite customers from retail, financial services, logistics and so on to interact with us," says Anne-Sophie Lotgering.

"This is why we recently organised a round table at Log!Ville with a number of logistics customers and logistics system providers to brainstorm with them on how the logistics landscape is changing and what solutions they are looking for to adequately respond to the evolutions. The common thread in the resulting conclusions was 'digitalisation', not only in the field of innovation but also in that of resilience and sustainability," she explains.

Co-creation and innovation

"We firmly believe in co-creation, because by sharing expertise one can accelerate the responsiveness to new evolutions - such as 'digital twinning', Augmented Reality, AI and robotics. This is why we actively create ecosystems of partners in different fields, including logistics. Thanks to Log!Ville, for example, we have launched a concrete co-creation project with Siemens in the automotive industry. I cannot say more about it because we have an NDA (ed. confidentiality agreement). We are also studying a collaboration with Toyota Material Handling and we are participating to their international event, Logiconomi, where we will present what can be done to reduce energy consumption of buildings by making them smarter " Anne-Sophie Lotgering adds.

In the logistics of the future, 5G will play an important role. With 5G, people often think of faster mobile internet, but its role within the warehouse is likely to be even greater. "Logistics, alongside manufacturing and public safety, is one of the 'verticals' Proximus sees great usage for 5G. The high network capacity, low latency and low energy consumption of 5G networks mean that many more devices can be connected and send data simultaneously," she explains.

"Several 'use cases' already exist, for example with automated pallet movers or AR, VR and mixed reality, but the technology has so much in it that - especially when combined with AI - it enables 'game changers' both in terms of supply chain management, autonomous devices, IoT or workplace safety. We have therefore launched an 5G innovation platform for trying and testing solutions," she adds.


"By digitising the warehouse and giving the workforce the right digital tools, you can reduce stocks. However, the more the focus is placed on technology and the greater the role of IT and communications, the greater the need for security. So it comes down to protecting against potential threats. Proximus has an advantage here, because resilience lies at the convergence of IT and communications. So we can help logistics companies identify vulnerabilities in their digital security and provide responses to them that make their operations more resilient," Anne-Sophie Lotgering adds.


Proximus has a central distribution centre in Courcelles, near Charleroi, which it operates jointly with H.Essers. That was recently awarded three Lean and Green stars, certifying that CO₂ emissions have been reduced by 55% since 2015. This makes Proximus the first company in Belgium to receive this '3-star' label in one go and even places it in the frontrunners in Europe. Given the efforts made since then to further reduce CO₂ emissions, the way is clear for even more stars.

"Sustainability is indeed a strategic axis of Proximus alongside innovation and resilience. Here too, we assume that we must pursue 'Best Practices' and share them with our partners in the verticals. These efforts are not limited to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions: we are also working on redesigning packaging to avoid waste, modernising equipment - Goods to Person systems, among others, are on the agenda - and deploying data collection and IoT to increase the efficiency of the distribution centre. Other actions include not only recycling and refurbishing, but also initiatives to reduce returns or distribution with cargo bikes," says Anne-Sophie Lotgering.

"In the field of sustainable logistics also, we work with other companies in a collaborative spirit. This way, we create an ecosystem of partners with expertise in different fields who share their knowledge and best practices," she concludes.