Australia Post: Where you need it to go
We have been tasked as a group to aid Australia Post in order to stem the decline in physical customer visits. This Tackk shows our solution to the given dilemma along with its expected results.
Background & Research
As of late, Australia Post have taken to various new online services in order to increase their overall GP. By having customers use their online services, Australia Post saves costs in wages and other physical store expenses. The decline in physical customer visits can be complimented by a shift to a more comprehensive, online offering.
Currently offered online is the ability to track, redirect and return incoming mail. This is offered in partnership with 24/7 parcel lockers. These lockers allow customers to collect mail and parcels around the clock at their preferred time. They are a safer and in some cases more convent way of receiving parcels from online or telephone shopping.
Rather than the traditional method of having a parcel or 'collect card' left by the delivery driver and having to wait until the next day, customers are emailed to be notified of their parcels arrival at their lock box. This is in some cases safer than having parcels that don't need signatures left at your door step.
Costs involved with Australia Post's online services are charged and payable through their online checkout and accounts system known as MyPost.
By the end of the last financial year, Australia Post's figures indicated that potentially more than 50% of its physical customers are able to transact and post using solely online services. Parcel/Mail collection, Postage and Merchandise Sales collectively accounted for 44% of in store visits.
The Identified Problems
In order to move the majority of Australia Post's business activities online, new services have to be created. Merchandise can be easily sold via an online market place, and some parcels that aren't delivered to homes, businesses or 24/7 lockers can instead be collected from local shopping outlets such as Woolworths.
Our group has identified a need to easily and economically send both regular mail and parcels from homes and businesses. This would further reduce the need for as many physical stores, thus cutting costs.
The Selected Solution
In order to validate the above proposal, a service called Universal Postage has been designed. This service allows the sending of mail and small parcels via Australia Post Courier from the customers home or small business.
How will it work?
Customers who wish to utilise this service can install a simple, separate and standardised mailing device - either a lock box or second mail box. This installation will be solely for the purpose of sending mail via Australia Post.
How can I get this service?
In order to utilities the Universal Post service, customers will have to sign up to or use their existing MyPost account. Through this account is the ability to sign up for either a mailbox, lockbox, or both. One off fees with be payable for the box(s), as well as delivery and installation.
How will the courier collect my mail?
The Universal Mail system allows for a master key as well as a personal key to unlock the box(s). This was the Australia Post courier only has to carry a small number of keys, yet the boxes all still remain secure.
How often will my mail be collected?
In metro areas it is expected that parcels be collected approximately every two to three days. New couriers would be employed for this task. For surrounding suburbs, three to four days is the expect wait time, with existing couriers tasked to also collect outgoing mail. Rural areas will have to wait approximately 4 to 6 days and the existing couriers will also be tasked with collecting the mail.
Delivery times are expected to stay the same (after collection has taken place) as per the guidelines on the Australia Post website.
There will be two options available for residential customers sending mail. The first is a red or yellow coloured mailbox out by the street. This is for sending letters and very small parcels. The second options is a larger lock box placed near the front door. This will hold between two and four medium to large parcels.
Customers will have to pay a setup fee. This fee includes the cost of the mail/lock box itself, as well as delivery and installation. Aside from the setup fee, a monthly collection fee will be payable for the pickup and delivery of all outgoing mail. This fee is payable a month in advance, with 30 days notice of cancellation required.
Customers who are unable to easily access a lockbox in a standard location can apply for Special Provisions. This will allow these customers to physically hand their outgoing mail to a courier for an extra charge. For this, the customer will need to notify Australia Post of their request via their MyPost account. This optional addition will attracted a higher charge.
Options are being weighed with relation to pay per item. We hope that this service will aid those who do not post much and will not benefit from a month fee. These customers will have to pay per item they send, and also notify Australia Post of the read to be collected outgoing mail via their MyPost account.
Exact fees for this particular service offering are still under consideration, and your input would be greatly appreciated. To give your opinion, click the button below.
Recently five people were interviewed for their opinion on our proposed service. All five surveyed responded positively to the idea. Four of these five were conscious of the ongoing costs involved. As a result the ongoing cost idea will be reviewed. A good recommendation from an interviewee was to offer bulk discounts to small business who frequently post parcels.
Initial design began on a seamless design that will fit naturally at any home. The sketch below shows the box being attached to the wall in order to keep it off the ground, whilst the proposed red colour will be sure to attract the couriers attention.
For customers who need to post from units or a small commercial complex, a solution has been devised. Below is a large set of outgoing boxes to aid small businesses who's owners are busy running day to day errands and need to pay bills or write to their suppliers.
Final designs allow for customers to pick a lockbox theme of their liking, with the first of many limited edition designs to be made with a wooden pattern as shown below. Note that this is still a wall mounted design.
We have done some investigation as to how how chose solution to the problem will benefit different members of society and customers of Australia Post.
First of all, university students who do not drive and are having to send and receive mail relating to their tertiary studies, jobs, bills, family they have just moved away from will be able to easily post mail from home rather than having to walk or catch a bus to their nearest post box.
Secondly, the entrepreneur who works from home or a small office. They are now able to quickly and easily send urgent replacements for faulty products, or simply post many small orders from their home or place of business. By doing so they are able to save time and money whilst not disrupting their work environment by having to go to a post office.
Thirdly the stay at home parents. These customers often have many different tasks they wish to complete on any given day, as well as children to look after. By being able to post letters and parcels from home they no longer have to go through the hassle of taking their young children to the post office. This saves time, stress and encourages mail use.