Did you know that underneath the London Underground Network, lays another rail network which is used by the Royal Mail to transport mail around London. I was amazed when I learned that last week while attending the guest lecture hosted by Neil Ennis who was representing the Post Office Group. In this blogpost I will explore the Post Office background, service modernisation, lean & green operations and value creation.
Background The post office started 400 years ago and it was the first mail service in the UK. They were also the first to install a telephone service in the UK, even before BT. Now with 12000 Branches they are the biggest retailer in the UK with over 300 products retailing (Telephony, royal mail, financial services, disabled badges, car insurance, vehicle tax, electricity, identity services). 150,000 employees at the post office group. With 200,000 employees at the royal mail ( great graduate job opportunities) they are the 2nd Biggest employer to the NHS. 60m people in the UK and the post office serve one-third of these people in one week, that’s 20m customers a week
Service Modernisation The post office, want to modernise their service. They want to stand out from there competition from similar services in the next 36 months. They are also looking to explore and integrate with service delivery, e.g. online services. Customers want longer opening hours now and modern branches to suit their lifestyle, as people are not working the normal 9-5pm anymore. The post office is planning to introduce self-service checkouts just like Tesco. These self-checkouts will help with mail, car tax, electricity bills and many more services. They have already done a trial in Kings Cross Station and it has worked really well, as people are on the go and need a quick efficient service. The post office group plan to introduce more self-service checkouts in shops, airports, train stations, food outlets. With the new transformation in the next three years, it will offer more open space, open 7 days a week, longer opening hours.
Lean & Green Operations
- Eliminate waste (Cost cutting, fuel for transport, paper, reducing distribution hubs, making sure you plan where to locate your distribution hub, is it close to a motorway with easy access to the north, south, east and west. Lean operation by not tying up stock, this will seriously affect cash flow)
- J.I.T – Just in time deliveries not wasting storage space or even paying for storage costs
- Continual Improvement
- Process Improvement
- More efficiency
- Understanding map processing, this is one of the best tools, for business.
To progress in your career you have to understand how marketing works in business. As business students you have to understand everything not just one specific area. Marketing is a crucial part of the business, and a lot of business students might not think so highly about it, but if you get the right model for your business you can really bring a business to the top. Always look at competitors in business, see what they have and you can add upon this information you gather from you competitors. See how they are modernising and using technology, how could this help your business? Work with various suppliers, not just one in case the company goes bankrupt you will be trying to find a supplier who charges the same amount or less. This will lead to loss of business and profits for you.
The 4P’s are one of the main marketing tools every single business needs. Product: Design products that are valued by your customers. Place: Make your product accessible to the customer. The post office is within 1 mile in urban areas and within 5 miles in country areas. Price: this has to be right, target your audience to see how much they want to pay for your product, also see what competitors are charging. Promotion: Offer more services, e.g. door-to-door service, internet shopping.
Always remember if you give good customer service they will on average, tell two other people. If you give poor customer service, they will tell on average, 10 other people.
Through continuous innovation and being on top of the marketing principles, Post Office manages to adapt their business model tailored to the demand of their ever changing customer base.
Royal Mail Logistics Recruitment
Royal Mail visited to launch their graduate recruitment programme for logistics. Royal Mail take 60+ graduates per year across Operations, Human Resources, Finance, Commercial Services and Logistics. Students heard first hand from Maureen Wanjiku, who completed her Masters this year and has been with Royal Mail for two months. The graduate programme is intensive and there are real opportunities for rapid promotion. The selection process includes on line tests, telephone interviews and an assessment day. On line tests are in numerical, verbal and logical reasoning and our Royal Mail speaker told us that there are options for the verbal reasoning test to be taken in languages other than English. Further information on the general programme is at Royal Mail Graduate Recruitment.
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