Postal Technology International magazine – June 2016

 

From 2008-2012, state-owned
Romanian Post reported total losses of
€116.6m (US$131m). In 2013 it posted losses
of €6.4m (US$7.2m). Things looked more positive
in 2014 when the post recorded a
profit of €5m (US$5.6m). However, 2015 saw
it go back into the red with losses of €7.3m
(US$8.2m). Despite these losses, Ciprian
Bolos, director of strategy and international
relations at Romanian Post, remains positive
about the future. “Investment increased by
over 24% in 2015 compared with 2014. We
are now working hard to ensure that we return
to profit,” Bolos explains.
Romanian Post, which serves over 7.5
million addresses, has faced the same
challenges as many other operators in Europe,
including postal market liberalization,
electronic substitution and increased digital
services. According to Bolos, the development
of the post’s Strategic Action Plan a few years
ago has helped to transform the company into
what it is today. “Innovation and technology
form essential components of the plan,” he
says. “They are helping to drive the
transformation of our services.”
At the beginning of 2016, Romanian Post
began preparing its business plan for the next
few years. “We may have a 154-year history,
but I believe we are writing the most pivotal
chapter now,” says Bolos. “In implementing
this plan, Romanian Post intends to play an
inclusive role in the country’s development,
helping citizens, businesses and the public
sector to participate in the new digital age.”
The strategy set out in the plan focuses
on three areas: logistics and postal services,
payments and transactions, and insurance.
The aim is to provide a competitive logistics
system, capable of enabling Romanian
businesses and consumers to take part in the
e-commerce revolution. “We want to grow as
an e-commerce business,” Bolos says. “We
want to be customer-centric, cost competitive,
and have an engaged workforce. I believe that
this plan will result in a renewed sense of
purpose for everyone at Romanian Post.”
Romanian Post has recently invested in new
automated sorting solutions, the operational
restructuring of the postal network, a new
corporate identity, post office renovation, the
modernization of the vehicle fleet, and a new
integrated information system.
“The new centralized IT system will
harmonize with European standards to ensure
efficient use of resources and data security,”
explains Bolos. “The aim is to get rid of
outdated technologies that have not allowed
us to run optimal commercial operations.
With this project we want to create a versatile
network, enabling considerable improvement
of operational processes. The number of postal
locations computerized with VPN will be
doubled from 1,000 to over 2,000. Waiting
times at post office counters will be
considerably decreased as a result.”
As well as internal investment, Romanian
Post has also been busy securing contracts
worth more than €2.5m (US$2.8m). “In the
first three months of 2016, Romanian Post
won 70% of public procurement procedures
for postal services,” comments Bolos. “The
most important contract won was with the
Regional Directorate of Public Finance, worth
€1.7m [US$1.9m]. The post will provide mail
delivery services for standard mail, registered
mail and receipts.”
Romanian Post’s future investment plan
involves growing the operator’s market share
in this area. “We have a strong history in the
public procurement segment. In 2015 we won
63 out of 89 procedures. The most important
contract won in 2015 was with the Ministry
of Justice and was worth over €6.7m
[US$7.5m],” Bolos adds.
Another area the post is looking to invest
in further is its new entity, Romanian Post
Insurance Broker. “Our customers are now
able to buy insurance at post office counters,”
says Bolos. “We act as an intermediary between
the end customer and insurance providers. We
also plan to enter the financial services market
in 2016. We will be running a pilot project in
39 post offices, where the retail network will
act as an intermediary between Patria Credit
and clients looking for banking solutions.”
Looking to the future, Bolos believes that
securing future investment is the key to
success. “We are already outlining future
investment opportunities for Romanian Post,
one of which is for an ambitious infrastructure
project that will be unveiled in the next few
years,” concludes Bolos.

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