A new alternative for postal counter solutions – Accenture retail counter solution for posts

William A. Morris, Postal Industry Asset Director, Accenture
World Mail Review May 2008

For years, postal operators around the world have been challenged with a lack of alternatives for retail counter solutions to support their unique needs.  This has left the postal industry with little choice in the marketplace and a reliance on outdated and costly custom solutions that has hindered seizing new opportunities to reshape and grow retail operations.

This environment led Accenture to re-thinking point of service (POS) for the industry and taking the steps to bring to market the Accenture Retail Counter Solution for Posts – a clearly different answer for posts.

The Challenge

Around the world today, postal operators typically: need to address two key issues: 1) retail businesses hindered by technology from changing to meet the needs of today’s customers; and 2) a lack of focus by industry suppliers to provide the post choices for acquiring solutions needed to support change in this area of the business.

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From point of sale to back office capabilities, there has been really no single vendor in the industry that could bring experience and a unique perspective to the post.  Companies working in this area tended to be very limited in their scope and none could truly say that they had the overall experience and exposure to provide a powerful industry focused offering. This frustration has hindered postal operators and has  limited their ability to seize  new opportunities for growth and improved performance in retail operations.

Accenture’s Response to the Challenge

The need for point-of-sale technology in the postal industry has evolved. Point-of-sale is no longer simply a tool for processing postal transactions at the counter,  Postal services now need an enterprise-focused solution that supports multi-purpose point-of-service.

The right kind of counter solution can reduce cost of ownership and significantly enhance the customer’s in-store experience. The wrong system, however, can end upwasting money, constraining the business and frustrating or even driving away valuable customers. It all boils down to a strategic choice-one that successfully aligns system with strategy to deliver superior customer services, business agility, a technology platform for the future and a lower cost of ownership.

In 2007 Accenture took steps to address this need. With a focus on bringing to the industry Accenture’s best thinking from our years of work with leading postal operators and commercial retailers, and the technology to support the postal retail business, Accenture began an initiative to deliver the Accenture Retail Counter Solution for Posts (ARC-Post)

Accenture Retail Counter Solution for Posts (ARC-Post)

Accenture has developed a postal industry solution that addresses the current and future needs of the post. ARC-Post is designed to modernize retail postal operations by introducing new automated features and processes, enable new revenue generation through the introduction of new postal products and services, and improve the efficiency of retail operations.

Built on an enterprise service oriented architecture, the new solution is designed to deliver a better customer service experience as it supports a multi-channel retail strategy that enables new point of service options for every channel.  It will allow faster, more accurate transactions and help bring new and more convenient services to market more quickly, driving up customer satisfaction and generating new revenues.

ARC-Post offers the post a new alternative to the custom solutions and old technology options in the market today.  ARC-Post builds on J2EE open standards and adheres to the principles of services oriented architecture, which offers greater flexibility and ease of configuration for meeting new business needs.  ARC-Post can reduce the time and cost to implementation, lower total cost of ownership, accelerate the introduction of new products and services, and reduce the risk associated with custom-developed or proprietary solutions.

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Contacts

For additional information please contact

William A. Morris “Andy”

Postal Industry Asset Director

[email protected]

Catherine McCall

ARC-Post Development Manager

[email protected]

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