Following the London 2012 Olympics, and just prior to the start of the Paralympic Games on 29th August, Secured Mail operations director James Wilkins highlights the need for preparation and communication in preparing for major events.
If anyone has escaped Olympic fever, they would be one of only a few. The strain that the Games were predicted to have on our transport systems has been a hot topic in the press – but this wasn’t an excuse to let things slip.
It’s obvious that the postal sector relies most prevalently on the transport infrastructure of Britain, and issues like congestion, closures or delays on the roads can severely affect our service. There are always going to be issues, whether it’s a fuel strike, bad weather or major public events, but having effective contingency plans in place for every eventuality means you can continue to service your customers as normal.
Particularly dealing with bulk-mail and packets, these sorts of issues can have a massive knock-on effect to clients and has an impact on the core values that we hold as a business.
Being prepared in advance has been essential for our operations planning teams. Accessing the relevant Royal Mail depots at the right time is integral to our quality of service and in advance of the Olympics, we have worked closely with Royal Mail to reassess access times and bring forward deliveries wherever possible. This ensures that our fleet on the road is fully prepared and potential disruption like traffic congestion is minimised.
Tracking systems on vehicles mean any delays can be relayed back to account managers and clients
Communication is key to this industry, but in challenging times it is crucial. Keeping all parties informed throughout the process means everyone’s expectations are managed during a time of delay risks.
We spent six weeks communicating our plans to our customers, suppliers and partners, developing robust and bespoke solutions which included reviewing collection times in high impact areas – particularly customers in London, with Secured Mail drivers collecting in the evenings to avoid the main traffic flows during the normal working days.
To keep that all-important communication flowing in especially busy times means that resources need to be properly addressed. Secured Mail has a Southern Hub in Dartford that is at the heart of our operations in the South. We have dedicated more staff resource to the hub to be on hand to tackle any issues that may be raised.
Our leading edge technology is an important part of our offering to support our customers. All our vehicles are fitted with a tracking system so we know where our customer’s mail is at all times. If there are any delays, this is relayed to our account managers who are in regular dialogue with clients throughout the period. That way, there won’t be any unexpected surprises!
Overall, we haven’t noticed any major impacts from the Olympics on our service. I think that our forward planning combined with the dedication of our team has ensured that customers haven’t seen a change and it’s been business as usual for Secured Mail throughout our summer of sport.
James Wilkins is operations director at Secured Mail, a UK bulk mail specialist headquartered in Warrington and founded in 2006. One of the fastest growing private companies in the UK, Secured Mail acquired the downstream access division of DHL Global Mail UK earlier this year.
Source: James Wilkins, Secured Mail