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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

UPU News : Posts must innovate to remain competitive

23.09.2014 - Director General Bishar A. Hussein says Posts worldwide must display the same pioneering spirit they have always shown and harness the power of innovation to adapt to customers’ new communication needs.

“There is no loyalty to brands unless you can provide the service customers want,” said Bishar Hussein, as he urged Posts to innovate.
He said this today as he opened the Universal Postal Union’s 13th annual World Postal Business Forum on the sidelines of POST-EXPO 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden.
“Innovation is not only about new technologies; it is about a change in mentality, and finding new and creative solutions to meet evolving customer needs,” said Hussein, head of the specialized United Nations agency for postal services.
Not achieving this goal will have consequences for postal operators, he stressed. “There is no loyalty to brands unless you can provide the service customers want,” he said.
Also opening the forum, PostNord Group CEO Hakan Ericsson said innovation in the postal sector was essential to remain competitive. He said innovation was needed for PostNord to become the company it wants to become.
“We need to develop a new company and go from being a postal company with a logistics business to being a logistics company with a mail business,” he said.
PostNord was created in 2009 from the historic merger of Sweden’s Posten and Post Denmark, which Ericsson says enabled the company to gain a larger regional market and generate economies of scale.

Banking on e-commerce

Both Hussein and Ericsson agreed that the Internet was creating opportunities for Posts worldwide, giving rise to the growing business of e-commerce. Here, Ericsson said his company was “thinking outside the box” by getting closer to its e-commerce customers. He said PostNord was building a new logistics centre for an important Nordic e-retailer, which will coordinate most of its supply and distribution business from there.
For his part, Hussein said the UPU was working hard to improve the processes that are essential to the success of e-commerce worldwide. Work, for example, is progressing well on the creation of a new international service for the return of merchandise, which Posts could offer to customers and e-retailers. The lack of such a service has been seen as an important impediment to consumers buying from online platforms located abroad.
Keynote speaker, entrepreneur Moses Ma, said that, with technology evolving so rapidly, it was difficult for Posts to predict the impact of the Internet on their business in the very far future. But that doesn’t mean Posts must remain still. He advised Posts to get out of their comfort zone, ask a lot of questions, experiment as much as possible and to not have a fear of failing.
The three-day World Postal Business Forum is bringing postal leaders, regulators, suppliers and other stakeholders together to explore the different facets of innovation, including in the areas of new products and services and processes, regulation and postal business models.

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