PosTech 2011: “Adapting to the needs of the e-customer”

Postal operators must react to the needs of the increasingly technology-driven customer. That was the key message during a thought-provoking opening session at PosTech 2011. The industry-leading conference got underway at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Dubai this morning (Tuesday).

Abdulla Mohammad Alashram, CEO of Emirates Post – the event’s host sponsor – opened PosTech in front of a wide-ranging audience.

As well as announcing his happiness at bringing PosTech to the UAE, the CEO said this was a “unique time” for postal operators across the globe, with the fast paced emergence of new technological solutions.

The opening plenary set out to explain how posts have successfully integrated technology into their business models.

John Modd, director mail, Triangle Management Services, the event organisers, challenged the conference to examine who drives the change and renewal process.

“Our mission is to present change as an opportunity and not a threat,” Modd added.

Dr Muhammad Benten, CEO and president, Saudi Post, was the first key note speaker to grace the PosTech stage.

Dr Benten discussed how the needs of the customer are changing due to complete access to the Internet, and its continuing development. He examined how posts can fit into that mould.

Using statistics to illustrate the uptake of computer use within Saudi Arabia, Dr Benten announced: “We have to understand what our customer demands are concerning technology.”

He stressed the importance of e-services within the new postal framework, stating that the management of customers, service, payment and delivery was crucial.

Dr Benten used the example of Saudi Post’s e-mall as an illustration of how his company has used technology to enhance the retail arm of the business – an important element of the organisation in light of the decline of traditional mail volumes and its revenue.

“The virtual mall has an interface that looks and functions like a shopping mall or department store,” he added, before stating that posts must “develop new processes”, despite their complexities.

LibanPost chairman Khalil Daoud, whilst discussing how technology can bring post office services to customers’ homes, highlighted the challenges of efficiency, traceability and security.

Concluding the opening session, I Ketut Mardjana, president director, PT Pos Indonesia, spoke about the empowerment and modernisation policies taking place at his organisation.

PT Pos Indonesia’s transformation initiative commenced in 2009, with the eventual goal of becoming the premier operator in the region by 2015. The business is modernising its mail, logistics and financial products portfolio to suit the changing environment.

To read a report on the afternoon’s session, click here.

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