Royal Mail – postal operators need to adapt to digital world

A senior executive from Royal Mail has told the World Mail and Express Europe conference in Warsaw that the industry needs to adapt to the new digital world.

Stephen Agar, Managing Director, Consumer & Network Access, with Royal Mail said that, for the postal industry, “The game has moved on, from fearing the digital revolution to adapting to it.”

Agar told delegates of how Royal Mail has repositioned its mail business so it can complement its digital services and also prove that it has value to its customers with initiatives such as Mailmark. Royal Mail has faced up to the challenges of digitisation and declining mail volumes as well as increased competition.

Agar said to the delegates, “Mail is not obsolete. Mail can survive all the disruptions, provided it adapts. We have to demonstrate that mail and digital can work together.”

The first morning session of the Warsaw conference, which aimed to give a “big picture” view of the national posts, opened with a welcome address from host sponsor Poctza Polska’s Deputy CEO Wielslaw Wlodek.

Lukasz Golebiowsi then outlined how Poctza Polska has adapted to the challenges of a liberalised postal sector, by diversifying its services, restructuring its operations and focusing on e-commerce opportunities.

“Poctza Polska is becoming an integrated supplier of bundled services, aiming to support the entire value chain of e-commerce clients,” said Golebiowsi.

The session also included presentations from Francisco de Lacerda, CEO of CTT Correos de Portugal; Aavo Karmas, CEO of Omniva; and Andreas Gregoriou, Director of the Department of Postal Services, Cyprus Post. All three speakers look at how their companies – like Royal Mail – have worked to create synergies between post and parcels, and the digital and the physical.

Botund Szebeny, the Secretary General of PostEurop, applauded the sheer diversity of the Posts’ diversification strategies in his presentation. Posts, said Szebeny, have shown their ability to cope with both global and local demands.

“The disruptive character of the posts and our capability to successfully adapt gives us confidence in the future,” said Szebeny. The PostEurop Secretary General referenced industry initiatives such as the Interconnect Programme. He also emphasised the importance of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy, but added that PostEurop would not want to see “unnecessary bureaucracy or interventions”.