Posts can move forward and grow by following a 3 part strategy: 1) Change the corporate culture to spur innovation; 2) Capitalize on developments in artificial intelligence, robotics and the growth in South East Asia; and 3) Connect with e-retailers by investing in technology and integrating your systems with theirs into one fast-delivery oriented eco-system.

 

The Tired Postal strategies have not worked!

Posts have generally responded in one of three, lack-lustre ways:

Do Nothing – Wither, Wane, Waste: Ride out the storm and take a wait and see attitude. Try to improve, defend or extend the life of letter mail.

Ultimately this strategy can only lead to lower sales, a shrinking network, bankruptcy and irrelevance.

Do Less – Reduce, Restructure and Reorganize: Give the impression of leadership, continue to cut costs, shrink the organization, automate mail sequencing, restructure routes, close owned post offices particularly in rural areas, decrease post office hours, switch to alternate-day delivery for mail, eliminate Saturday delivery, eliminate door-to-door service, consolidate plants, privatize or franchise, use pricing leavers, reduce pension liabilities and initiate regulatory changes to reduce service or reduce delivery speeds of products.

This very traditional strategy will buy the Post time but remember that no organization ever shrank to greatness.

Do More – Enhance, Extend and Evolve: Try to keep above water. Introduce more and new retail products (magazines, stationery, pens, gifts, etc.) to capture incremental revenue; diversify (financial / banking services, parcel or logistics space, retail services or customised delivery by industry); position the Post as the low-cost delivery channel for online parcels and wait for that third-party business to come.

This is a traditional strategy of leveraging (stuffing) the bricks and mortar. This strategy gives the semblance of true innovation. It can be compared to treading water – like “Do Less”, the Post is splashing about but not really getting anywhere very fast.

A better response strategy for Posts in industrialized markets

Do Different – Change, Capitalize and Connect:

Change: Move from a traditionally hierarchical and political culture to an innovation culture. Posts need inspiring and inclusive leadership that listens, encourages ideas, leads by example, focuses on long-term growth and rallies employees and customers alike via an articulated, concise idea or vision that ignites excitement and expresses what the company wants to be.

 

Capitalize: E-retailers are selling and shipping products to the growing China and Asia markets. Integrate backward into your supply chain – with your suppliers – the e-retailers in your country. Help them sell, ship more products abroad and the Post will make more money.

China Post and TOM Group operate ule.com. The site offers a very wide range of products to Chinese consumers on behalf of retailers from China and worldwide. China Post’s over 50,000 post offices also provide over-the-counter sales, services and a dial-in service hotline for Ule. Australia Post, New Zealand Post, Post Denmark Deutche Post, Poste Italiana and others already have agreements with China Post.

Posts in France, Australia, Singapore, Italy and others also signed agreements with Alibaba. Australia Post has gone further. It enables businesses to sell their products across Alibaba’s key platforms including Tmall Global, JD Worldwide, 1688.com, and Global TaoBao. Post-branded and Post-facilitated storefronts have been setup across the leading eCommerce network Lazada, of which Alibaba has a majority shareholding. Lazada provides merchants with direct access to more than 560 million consumers in six countries and features a wide product offering in categories ranging from consumer electronics and household goods to fashion and health products. Australia Post also plans to open storefronts on Lazada’s other sites in Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines in the future.

The Farmhouse website is another initiative of Australia Post. It is supported by the Victorian Farmers’ Market Association (VFMA) and gives Australian farmers and producers another way of selling direct to the Australian public. From tea and coffee, wine, soap, and pet treats, to fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, cheese, jam, and chocolate, Farmhouse is just like everyone’s favourite weekend farmers’ market, except it’s available 24/7. Australia Post looks for Australian producers to set up their own Farmhouse online stall with us and be part of a growing community selling the best quality food and regional products. The Post does not act as a warehouse or middleman, so the MSME keeps complete control over managing your products, pricing, and the fulfilment of your customer orders. Farmhouse automatically bills the seller a commission of 7.5% on sales

Connect: Connect warehousing, logistics, delivery and customer service capability. Speed-up the delivery process, increase delivery options, provide real-time tracking and lower overall cost for customers. Partner and integrate with major e-retailers.

China Post signed an agreement with Alibaba to boost Alibaba’s presence in lower-tier cities. The two opened up their warehouses, processing centers and delivery resources to each other, building an e-commerce logistics platform in an effort to develop new business and new markets.

Finnish postal operator Posti Group (Itella) has been investing in warehousing, automated e-commerce fulfillment process and delivery systems. It formed a partnership with e-commerce marketplace Mitäsaisiolla.fi (MSO.fi), a grouping of 200 e-commerce merchants. The alliance will offer online merchants a market platform and logistics service as a single solution including better customer service and faster delivery times.

Singapore Post Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub

According to Postal Technology International, Alibaba and SingPost formed a strategic partnership in June 2014, which included Alibaba acquiring a 10% stake in the group allowing SingPost to accelerate its transformation into a regional e-commerce logistics specialist to pursue a market forecast to be worth $1 trillion (USD) in sales by 2020.

Now Alibaba is now looking to increase this to nearly 15%. Alongside this, Alibaba will invest up to approximately S$92m (US$67.9m) in QSI for a 34% equity stake in the subsidiary. SingPost will hold the remaining 66%. Alibaba will also make use of SingPost’s cross-border e-commerce logistics services, including delivery of products into the postal company’s expanding network of self-service parcel locker terminals called POPStations.

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