Interview with Georges Berzgal, Pitney Bowes
Ahead of the World Mail & Express Europe (WMX Europe) Conference in Dublin, we caught up with Georges Berzgal, VP & MD – EMEA, Commerce Service of Pitney Bowes. Georges will be speaking at WMX Europe 2019 and offers his thoughts on the conference and the future of the industry.
P&P – Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.
GB – At Pitney Bowes, we strive to help our clients better meet customers’ delivery expectations. The Pitney Bowes Commerce Services group consists of four business units.
Presort Services, the industry leader in sorting out simplicity and savings and the largest workshare partner of the Postal Service.
Cross-border Solutions that focus around the industry’s most proven, capable and scalable cross-border platform.
Shipping solutions that, at its core, help our clients ship better. The shipping solutions that we offer enable label printing and tracking, two things that seem relatively easy, but we do them really well.
Fulfillment, Delivery and Returns. What happens in between you hitting the buy button on your favorite merchant’s website and the package hitting your porch. We simplify the returns process and our platform enables merchants to treat returns that same way they treat outbound shipments.
I lead the EMEA region for the Commerce Services division at Pitney Bowes. Prior to Pitney Bowes I served as MD, Europe for Bronto Netsuite (now part of Oracle). Previously I held numerous positions in eCommerce, Travel and Publishing, Enterprise Feedback Management, among others, in a variety of leadership roles across Europe and North America. I received a BA in Economics from Denison University and London School of Economics, and MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
P&P – What will you be speaking about at WMX Europe this year?
GB – At WMX Europe, I’m excited to speak about how tools and technology should be better leveraged by retailers so they can succeed in shipping parcel to the US. I’m also excited to share some of the results from our annual global ecommerce study as some of the results will be quite enlightening to the audience.
P&P – What do you hope our delegates will take away from your presentation?
GB – I hope delegates will have a better understanding of how to better leverage tools and technology so they can compete in the fast and free world of ecommerce. To truly get ahead in logistics, retailers need to be constantly educating themselves on new tools and technology.
P&P – What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing your business today?
GB – Many delegates might think of Pitney Bowes as a mailing meter company. While this may have been a fair assessment just five years ago, we are a technology company at heart. We marry great technology with physical solutions. It’s the intersection of the physical and digital that makes Pitney Bowes unique. We need to educate the world about what the Commerce Services group at Pitney Bowes does and how our solutions can help ecommerce merchants thrive.
P&P – Who are you looking forward to meeting at this year’s conference?
GB – I’m looking forward to meeting other thought-leaders in logistics and delivery services. At the previous WMX events that I have attended, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the other delegates and presenters in attendance. I’m excited to hear other points of view and learn about other technologies in the marketplace.
P&P – Apart from the presentations and content, what aspect of WMX Europe are you most looking forward to?
GB – I’ve found the other WMX shows to incorporate the social component of the event really well, so I look forward to the opportunities to network with other delegates and presenters.
P&P – How can we advance the post and parcel industry?
GB – By continuing to surround ourselves with innovative thought-leaders and subject matter experts, we can continue to lead and not be content to simply follow the industry trends. I am confident that this group will be responsible for creating new technologies and truly innovating the post and parcel space.
P&P – How has the post and parcel industry changed in the past 5 years? What do you predict will happen in the next 5 to 10 years?
GB – Technology has completed shifted the way we transact business. The ecommerce world is truly shrinking. It’s now just as easy to buy an item online from your neighbour as it is to buy something from half-way around the world. I predict these barriers to global ecommerce will continue to shrink. We already seen that global consumers have the same expectations as US-domestic consumers. At Pitney Bowes, we need to continue to create technologies that simply worldwide ecommerce, from delivery to returns.
P&P – What is the most interesting trend for 2019?
GB – One interesting trend for 2019 is the possible fallout from negotiations that President Trump is spearheading regarding global shipping rates and practices. of the US’s possible withdraw from the UPU has some very significant ramifications. It will be interesting to see what effects these decisions have on the global post and parcel industry.
P&P – What’s the one piece of advice would you give to companies starting out in your sector?
GB – For companies just starting out in our sector, I would suggest that they listen to their customers. The only real way to create solutions for the market, is to engage with, and listen closely to your prospective customers.
P&P – What impacts do you foresee from the recent US China trade wars?
As a US-based company that is heavily invested in ecommerce technology and logistics, we are closely watching President Trump’s tweets and conversations about making Chinese merchants pay a fair price for shipping. At this point, we don’t know what President Trump will do regarding the UPU. Ideally, his decisions will enable global commerce to continue to grow.