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Ecommerce could save Royal Mail given the chance

13 Apr 2018, 15:27

https://tamebay.com/2018/04/ecommerce-c ... hance.html

Let’s start with some facts. Royal Mail letter volumes are greatly diminished in recent years and that has put them under pressure because they simply aren’t making the money they used to from stamps. Emails and text messages have seen to that too. We used to pen a missive to friends and family but no more. We, the people of Britain, just don’t lick a stamp and post a letter anymore. And that isn’t gonna change any time soon.

But we do send more parcels. Hello ecommerce. The advent of online trading has seen us Brits send more larger items in the post. But we don’t just use our national postal service in the same way, in part thanks to greater choice, we used to and now Royal Mail must be profitable. Privatisation heralded a new era that requires returns. There’s no going back.

And yet it does seem that Royal Mail is somewhat suicidal when confronted with a trend so new it’s been blindingly obvious for way more than a decade. Amazon innovates and leads the charge. Drone delivery may be pie in the sky (ahem) but evening delivery is real already. And you can get Saturday and Sunday deliveries from numerous carriers as normal already. Royal Mail isn’t even considering evenings, let alone Sundays for shame.

No such concerns were central to recent union threats in angry negotiations over potential strikes. Our beloved posties should have been arguing for the freedom, and associated renumeration, to work every weekend and fighting for evening and Sunday deliveries. But the concerns of the CWU were firmly embedded in the 20th century,

It’s said that Moya Greene, the current CEO of Royal Mail, will be moving on and replaced in 2018. We wish her well. But a change at the top table won’t save Royal Mail. A complete and radical reimagination of the business is required urgently. But is that even a possibility? Tamebay isn’t optimistic.

And make no mistake, we are talking about a much loved national institution that we want to prosper and succeed. Royal Mail is amazing and successful when it seeks to be.

The universal service which means a first class stamp will carry the same item between Epson and Ealing and also the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Skye for the same price. That facility is too important to lose. Indeed, it’s a vital article of national pride alongside HMQ, the BBC and yorkshire puddings. The UK would be worse off without the Royal Mail fighting fierce.

But modernisation is vital. Many RM people I meet smugly nod that Amazon is their biggest client. That is doubtless true. But Amazon (not other couriers) is also Royal Mail’s biggest competitor. Amazon is a fulfilment company that is building out its delivery network at a rate of knots every week. And the sooner that everyone acknowledges that, the better. The Royal Mail should fear Amazon.


Ecommerce could save Royal Mail given the chance

13 Apr 2018, 19:56

The general culture within the UK is that most people wish to work a five day week and have the Saturday & Sunday off. In the USA an off heard comment may be 'have a nice day'. In the UK you are more likely to hear someone say 'have a nice weekend'. The RM are looking at having deliveries in the evening - possibly instead of employing posties to do collections and moving those collections to delivery duty time. But it is likely there will be few takers to take this job one. It's no fun delivering in the dark and people generally are reluctant to answer the door in the evening.

Ecommerce could save Royal Mail given the chance

14 Apr 2018, 15:23

The article is also failing to say that DSA is taking the revenue away from RM and has been since the privatisation of letters in the early 2000's and that is the real problem.

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