The postal industry has been at a crossroads, traditional letter numbers are decreasing, but digital innovations in the postal industry are here to stay – as Dr Kristian Sund and Derek Osborn reveal in the new book The Future is in the Post: Perspectives on Innovation in the Postal Industry.
New opportunities in areas like parcels, logistics, hybrid mail as well as within secure email solutions and authentication are emerging.
Middlesex University Principal Lecturer in Strategic Management Dr Kristian Sund said: “One of the key challenges for any business in the postal industry is to continue to deliver in the declining area of letters, while innovating and delivering in other areas – on top of keeping the workforce creative and motivated to encourage innovation. The postal industry is a mature industry which has traditionally been characterised by stability, so in many ways innovation is a recent development for many players.”
Sund and Osborn have edited the three-book series, published by Libri Publishing, to demonstrate a positive view of the industry and chart strategies and innovation leading the industry forward. Executives and thought leaders of the postal industry from across the globe were invited to share ideas, experiences and examples of innovative products, services and business models that are changing the nature of the business.
Dr Sund added: “The traditional letter industry is declining, for sure, but new opportunities are arising, and different postal operators have seized opportunities in for example banking, insurance, logistics and electronic services. You can’t slow the inevitable decline of letters but you can slow down the speed of decline by getting customers to engage with letters.
“Examples of successful mail innovations include the use of SMS messaging or smart phone apps to buy stamps, launched for instance by the Danish Post. Business model innovations include Poste Italiane’s advanced mobile banking and commerce solutions - tying two strands of a business together. These examples demonstrate how there is a future for postal organisations and this future is emerging as a result of innovation.”
International postal expert and business coach Derek Osborn, who has over 22 years senior management experience in Royal Mail and over 15 years working internationally across the postal industry, said: “The main challenge for the sector is strategic innovation - to re-position and re-invent the post as a modern, dynamic and customer focused business that is relevant to businesses and consumers alike, as experts in physical logistics and delivery but adept at integrating with the latest digital technologies for simple and easy access to services. They need to build on their trusted brand but ensure that both customers and their employees are given a clear and positive vision of the future and not simply dwelling on the past with its rich heritage.”
The third volume of The Future is in the Post is being launched in September 2012 at the PostExpo trade fair and conference in Brussels.