How can digital transformation be embedded in postal strategy?

 

Faleh Mohammad Al Naemi, Managing Director and Chairman, Qatar Post

Faleh shares his thoughts ahead of speaking at Leaders in Logistics: Post and Parcel Summit on customer expectations in the last mile, how postal operators can integrate end-to-end sustainability, and digital transformation within postal strategy.

Customer expectations for last mile delivery have risen in tandem with the boom in e-commerce. What challenges do postal operators face in this changing market?

To stay relevant and competitive in today’s market, postal operators must keep the customer journey at the heart of their strategy. At Qatar Post, the way we invest in technology is a key part of this. Our customer-focused digital strategies drive investment in IT infrastructure that enable customers to communicate via new and varied channels from their chosen devices. Data analysis is also key to providing the right information and value-added services for the customer.

“Our customer-focused digital strategies… enable customers to communicate via new and varied channels.”

Here are some guiding principles posts can keep in mind when planning for the future:

  • Use technology strategically and take a mobile-first approach
  • Convenient, multi-channel solutions must be a priority for senders and recipients
  • Keep the customer informed with end-to-end visibility, tracking and proof of delivery

Regulation changes and growing customer awareness has brought sustainability to the forefront of strategic decision-making in the logistics sector in recent years. In your opinion, what are the key ways that postal operators can integrate end-to-end sustainability?

Optimizing operational processes and utilizing new technology are clear routes to success. Given that a large portion of regulation change focuses on emissions, a sustainable last mile should be a priority for all. Developments in hardware have opened up new options in fleet type, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, and new software has created the opportunity to reduce distances covered and optimize delivery routes. The strategic use of smart lockers and consolidated delivery points also has great potential to reduce emissions and give the customer greater choice.

“A sustainable last mile should be a priority for all.”

AR and digital imagery will soon enhance the way customers interact with their purchases before delivery, perhaps reducing the amount of items delivered and then returned. Virtual PO boxes also demonstrate the potential of technology, through the use of hybrid scanning and production of secure customer email addresses. As the international lobby and legislation tightens, operators will need to continue to invest in innovation that supports sustainable solutions, both from a business and environmental perspective.

New technologies are enabling innovative solutions in the fulfilment and delivery landscape. In what ways can digital transformation be embedded in the strategy of postal operators as they plan for the coming decade?

Staying ahead of the industry disruptors and maintaining a customer-focused approach, two complementary factors, should be key driving factors in any digital strategy. To truly embed digital transformation in their business strategy, postal operators need to align investment with these driving factors. To offer their customers the best possible service, Qatar Post has prioritized an omni-channel approach to allow customers to switch easily between digital and in-branch offerings. Additional improvements have been made by opening up new channels of communication for the customer via WhatsApp and chatbots. Our fully integrated systems offer greater customer control, choice and optimization of services to allow for real-time use of data. Utilizing new tech, such as AI and IoT to optimize the supply chain can also provide the customer with a more flexible and effective service, meeting the on-demand lifestyle of the consumer.

“Our fully integrated systems offer greater customer control, choice and optimization of services to allow for real-time use of data.”

With over 25 years’ experience in logistics, Faleh is currently leading Qatar Post through a critical moment of transformation as part of Qatar’s Vision 2030. 

Faleh will be speaking at Leaders in Logistics: Post and Parcel Summit, taking place in Copenhagen on the 5 – 6 October 2020.

Don’t miss his international spotlight titled ‘Consolidation: the future of deliveries or a pipe-dream?’ where he will outline an innovative fulfilment solution to meet the demands of e-commerce.

Leaders in Logistics: Post and Parcel Summit is the must-attend summit uniting logistics and postal operators from across EMEA.