One publisher was so fed up with the collapse last year of the Post Office services that he has vowed never to use them again. For his subscribers he set up a door-to-door delivery service and deliveries via POSTNET.
The complete breakdown of the postal service showed how quickly a going concern can die because of poor management. It’s ironic that the executive managers were patting themselves on their backs over and over about how “sustainable” the business was when they completely lacked a plan to deal with changing circumstances.
Digital platforms and technology have resulted in a game changer. Developed countries have responded to the changes such as in the United States, Germany and the UK with a commitment to provide universal services to citizens. But after the local postal services ground to a halt it is interesting to look at the opportunities that are available for private small business.
Magazine publishers are just one area where reliance on postal services is been introduced not only through digital platforms but also through private delivery companies. The jolt of the collapse provides opportunities for small operators to provide specialised postal delivery services that bypass the Post Office.
It’s now easier to order a copy of a magazine online, download it and read it on an electronic device including your laptop, tablet or even cellphone. Digital copies have better storage opportunities and space saving.
I wonder what will remain of the universal postal services after courier companies have taken away most of the fast physical goods delivery and supermarket chains have gobbled up the money transfer business. If it wasn’t for a monopoly on a certain size mail package, the Post Office wouldn’t really have a business at all. Yet there are many people including students and people in the country areas that rely on postal services and it is such a pity that they are denied access when disaster strikes.
I spoke to my local POSTNET owner and she has been doing fantastic business since the trouble the Post Office had some time back. But she does say that not everyone can afford the courier services. This is an area that sharp entrepreneurs with new business ideas can take advantage of. They need to find ways to get the cost down and also make it safer to post mail – there are thousands of complaints about postal workers tearing up mail and parcels to see if there is money or other valuables inside. Careless handling of parcels via the Post Office results in damages to goods which I have not experienced with even international courier companies.
Those who have domain expertise in the movement of goods have an opportunity to come up with something new and different and those who do may well be richly rewarded because the demand now for an alternative has never been stronger.