Australia Post has come a long way over the past 5 years, having had to cope with large social, economic and digital changes. But they are now fitter and more agile than ever. Their secret? According to Gary Starr, general manager of Trusted eCommerce Solutions at Australia Post, it’s the people.
Speaking at CeBIT 2016, Starr outlined the transformations Australia Post has made, starting with the dramatic change in the parcel business, driven largely by the rise in eCommerce and online shopping. Australia Post have also expanded the notion of the post office and moved well and truly into the digital space, with 175 million visits annually across all of Australia Post’s digital assets.
But Australia Post isn’t resting on its laurels, says Starr. They are constantly looking for ways to expand their digital offering and find ways to deliver their services more efficiently to citizens. And with improvements in infrastructure and cloud technology, it is now possible to roll out new developments to the public faster than ever.
Starr says Australia Post is striving to cultivate a company culture that supports innovation; teams are kept small and flexible, and the company runs regular hackathons, with the best ideas taken to market in a matter of weeks. They also run an ‘intrepreneur’ program every three months, where teams present their ideas to a board of executives, and the winner is granted $100,000 and 6 weeks to execute. They’ve also accelerated their internal and external approval processes so that products can be brought to market much faster than previously possible.
And the results are there. One success story is the development of their Change of Address Notification (COAN) facility, a one-stop shop for Australians to change their contact details when they move so they don’t have to go to each organisation separately. This facility took only 8 weeks to get to market. Another was their development of the Western Australian digital police check – previously a procedure that had to be filed on paper and took weeks to complete, it is now an end-to-end digital service that only takes minutes.
While technology has certainly helped with Australia Post’s dramatic changes over the past few years, Starr’s takeaway message is this: transformation starts and ends with people.