What I would do to Royal Mail
By Peter Baeck
This week I received a book I bought online. Or well, I didn’t receive it, but Royal Mail tried to deliver it. The problem was, as it is for most people, that I was at work when the mailman came. So I had to wait until the weekend, to pick up my package on a Saturday between 9 – 12, (the only time my whitechapel post office is open during the weekend). In light of this and the recent talk about the costs of Royal Mail and its effectiveness (or lack of same), I started thinking about alternatives, which of course led me immediately towards my homeland Denmark.
Although the Danish postal service in Denmark faces a lot of the same problems as Royal Mail, -its to expensive and not efficient enough, they have in the last five years sought some changes which I think are excellent, and could easily be transferred to the UK.
As a response to the growing amount of packages delivered as a result of the increase in people shopping online, the Danish Postal Service realized that the old method of delivery to peoples homes, was to inefficient for packages, especially when people weren’t home anyway, so they introduced ‘Døgnposten’ or in English 24 hour mail. Døgnposten is a parcel/letter vending machines that allows for 24 hour collection if parcels and letters and services. All done electronically (you get a bar code slip from the post man and directions to where the Doegnpost is. postal customers get an sms or e-mail when there has been a delivery and the item can be collected from the designated machine within seven days. You go there, swipe the barcode, one of the lockers open and you can pick up you parcel.
Secondly, I would drive forward efficiencies in Royal Mail by not using it. I still get the majority of the communications from the public sector in old school letter format to huge expenses for the public sector as well as the environment. I acknowledge that not all citizens have an email address or internet access and this group should of course still receive letters or be taught and encouraged to use mail. But for me, and I assume a large group of users, I would actually prefer to just receive emails, simply because these are easier to manage.
Entry filed under: Public Services.