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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Package growth leads mail transformation

19.09.2012 - How Posts can exploit explosive growth in parcels generated by e-commerce is dominating the UPU’s World Postal Business Forum, currently being held in Brussels, Belgium.
 Innovation is vital to reviving the postal sector’s fortunes, UPU Director General Edouard Dayan told delegates on Tuesday. “The development of the digital economy has stimulated the need for Posts to expand their product and service offerings by developing postal digital services,” Dayan said.
While many Posts are resorting to diversifying their products and services, Dayan sounded a note of caution. “The UPU is ever-conscious that the internet does not fulfil every need. Mail and parcels are still the core business of the majority of Posts,” the UPU director general stated.
Echoing this sentiment was Johnny Thijs, chief executive of bpost, Belgian’s designated postal operator. “Our ambition is limited to the core business, where we use our competencies,” Thijs said. He added that bpost would not embrace the e-world because it did not see the business case for it. Reputedly the longest serving CEO of a postal operator worldwide, Thijs revealed that bpost’s strategy was to move from being a mail company to a parcels one.
Consumer driven
Khalil Daoud, chief executive of Liban Post, the Lebanese operator, said the jury was out when it came to transforming the business in the long run.
“All Posts are reinventing their business. Our common ground is the high fixed costs. The expense is there whether we deal with one mail item or a million,” Khalil said.
Dato’ Khalid bin Abdol Rahman, Pos Malaysia Berhad’s CEO, revealed that the designated operator was moving from a product-centric to a solutions and consumer-driven paradigm. Revenue diversification is at full throttle since the Post was taken over by the DRB-HICOM conglomerate in 2011. “We can build on our core competencies. We have access to more than 80 per cent of addressed and unaddressed establishments and have one touch point for every 5,000 inhabitants in Malaysia,” Khalid said.
The three-day forum features a host of CEOs and operational experts on how to steer the sector through changing times. While there are no magic formulae on offer guaranteeing success, the gathering intends to inspire industry actors to find ways to better deal with the sector’s future.
Organized by the UPU, the World Postal Business Forum is part of the industry event, Post-Expo, which is attended by 3,000 delegates on average every year.
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