N. Ireland operations “going to plan” says TNT Post chief

TNT Post UK boss Nick Wells is “pleased” with the progress the operator has made in Northern Ireland since commencing operations in the country last autumn. The company recently announced that it had secured a public sector contract with Business Services Organisation (BSO) in Northern Ireland. BSO provides a broad range of regional business support functions and specialist professional services to the health and social care sector.

This contract win – described by TNT Post as “significant” – signaled the end of a positive first few months in the market.

CEO Wells told Post&Parcel earlier today (Tuesday) that operations had so far “gone to plan”.

He said: “It’s going pretty well. We have a good prospect base. A good sales team is in place providing local account management, which we felt was important.

“We are excited at the prospect of working with the public sector here. The public sector in Northern Ireland is very important as it employs so many people. TNT Post is committed to effective and sustainable competition which reduces costs, incentivises innovation and encourages efficiency.”

Wells explained that hospitals, NHS trusts and councils are a “very clear audience” for TNT Post “so it was very good to get contact wins under our belts”. These can be used as “evidence and case histories to provide to other customers who are looking to move”, he added.

As a part of the two-year deal with BSO, TNT Post will now handle millions of postal items. It will collect mail from eight of the ten major hospitals in the country – resulting in a 20% cost reduction for the organisation.

The deregulation of the postal market means that Royal Mail’s public sector contracts – managed by the Central Procurement Directorate – could be challenged by alternative operators. TNT said that it could offer “substantial savings” for the public purse – given that 70% of Northern Ireland’s GDP comes from the public sector.

TNT Post has also been winning private sector clients, including Quinn Insurance. A spokesperson at the firm said: “It was a no brainer for us to move to TNT Post. There was no issue in transferring our postal business to an alternative supplier. It made simple financial sense. We process 2.5m items per year and save a considerable amount on postage that we can reinvest in the business elsewhere.”

Based in Newtownabbey, TNT Post originally budgeted for 20 employees for the first year of operation in Northern Ireland. The company already has 16 staff and hopes to continue this growth trend.

The operator collects and sorts its customer’s mail, before it is handed over to Royal Mail for final mile delivery. Last year, TNT Post said it expects to handle mail volumes in excess of 72m during 2011, and also mooted an expansion into the Republic of Ireland.

“As TNT Post grows in Northern Ireland, we look forward to expanding our local employee base, extending our services to the Republic of Ireland and rewarding customers and the local economy through costs savings,” Wells said at the time.

TNT Post services in Northern Ireland include next day delivery post, FirstSort, as well as sorted and unsorted two and three day definite delivery services, which are complemented by a range of addressed and unaddressed direct mail, carbon-free and PC-to-letterbox mail options.

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