Changes in trends and consumer preferences often force structural changes in industry. Some companies re-invent themselves to survive and those who do not die.
The Post has evolved through many developments and milestones the world over in the last 20 years. Basically, the postal industry connects the hearts of senders and receivers. Until the last mile (receiver receives the item) is completed, both hearts are expectant, but eventually there is joy and huge relief when delivery is successful.
As we celebrate World Post Day, it is quite important to look at the contributions of the Post in the development of the world. From a humble beginning of using pigeons as delivery agents, today’s mail process is made so simple and easy with the influx of technology. Some were of the impression that technology will knock the post out of business but instead, technological advancement has become the pivot around which the post revolves today. Indeed, technology allows the Post to provide flexible options and convenience.
The significance of the Post cannot be understated, neither can it be undervalued. The responsibility of the universal service obligation enjoins the Post to ensure that all residents in any country can use the post across the country. It offers an array of services including;
1. Financial remittances and online payment solutions,
2. Mail and parcels post with reliable track and trace capabilities,
3. Online shopping (e-commerce),
4. Other agency business partnerships that is transforming the post as delivery agent of choice and also growing multibillion companies.
Ghana’s designated postal operator, Ghana Post, joins the world postal fraternity to celebrate its achievement over the years. The then Gold Coast era of the post offered stamp sales, mail delivery and money order which metamorphosed to Postal order between the 19thand 20th centuries. Since the 1850s Ghana Post has offered a reliable service to support both government and businesses, not to forget individuals.
A story is told of a secondary school student who awaited a reply to his letter from a female friend for a long time; alas, the letter was delivered. This young man read the letter over and over the whole day. Even in class his joy showed making the teacher catch him unaware, and asked him the reason behind his beaming smiles. The guy bust out in joy; ‘is it not my woman who has written to me’. This is the joy that the post delivers to individuals.
According to recent report, Ghana Post has been pre-occupied with revenue generation activities and prudent cost management since 2017. These amongst others include;
1. Alignment of operational activities,
2. Signing on new businesses and models,
3. Partnering other institutions to offer customers variety and a one stop shop
4. Improving post office connectivity, introducing other technologically supported activities to enhance operations and reorienting its staff to buy into a new vision of” turn around” to be commercially focused and compliance driven.
The company is known to have introduced flexibility in the payment of letter boxes; giving customers’ convenience of paying bills via mobile technology (using Web, Mobile and USSD). Again, in a bid to improve access to financial services aside remittances, the company has entered into agency banking agreement with Fidelity Bank which is at the verge of taking off. Ghana Post is also offering online payment solution termed GhPostpay. Ghana Post further entered into agreement for the provision of Post Assurance services; brining both life and non-life insurance services to the door step of our communities in Ghana through selected Post Offices.
In addition, the association of Ghana Post with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) Quality Service Fund (QSF) has produced 100 computers and accessories to augment the Post Office Connectivity Project. This brings to network of 240 Post Offices out of 360 offices nationwide, from 30 in 2017. Management of Ghana Post plans is to resource up to 300 offices by the close of 2019.
Interestingly, the World Bank through the Ministry of Communication is currently supporting Ghana Post to refurbish 25 Post Offices and provide connectivity for 50 Post Offices across the country. This support is geared towards providing cutting edge e-services at selected offices to attract government, institutions and SME businesses.
Furthermore, mail delivery is now automated which allows for an improved and reliable tracking system to meet customer needs. Added to this, is the digitisation of the mail delivery process. This means it is now possible to show Proof of Delivery via online devices and to see the entire journey of the posted item.
The award-winning company, Ghana Post, in showing commitment to meeting its customer and ison a steady march to grow revenue and increase efficiencies to provide smart, secure delivery.
By Justice Kwaku Sarpong, Accra – New Town