Is this the end for Royal Mail ?

simoncowlousyonroyalmailRoyal Mail has undergone a fair amount of changes since its governmental birth in 1516.  One of the biggest was in 1635 when it became available to the public, for the first time a person – any person could write a letter and send it to someone at the other end of the country without actually taking there themselves.

To say things are different now though is a massive understatement, even in the last 20 years peer to peer communications have changed so much from what we once thought possible.  Email is nearly a things of the past for goodness sake but that a different article for a different day!.

Things have changed and things keep changing but one thing that will never change is that when people rely on something and it is taken away, people will find another way to move forward.  Once shifted it is hard to get them back.

For those of you that do not know the story of Richard Bransons first main break in life – here is a snap shot.  Branson ran a small student magazine whilst at college, sadly or maybe for the best for him it didn’t really make any money so to try and keep his head above water he began to sell records through the magazine by mail order until one day orders stopped coming in, why ?  Well there was a postal strike of course !  Stuck with a stack of records and no means of getting orders Branson opened his first store and Virgin Megastore was born.

So why am I talking about this now ?  Well yet again we are faced with a postal strike and yet again people are finding ways of carrying on without the need for our famous posties.

Never before has the postal service had so much competition.  Send a letter? why I’ll email you.  Post a contract? I’ll just have a bike collect it and have it to you within the hour !  Send a package ? I can fedex it to Liverpool overnight for half the price of Parcelforce.

The main thing right now that is getting held up in the post is cheques, unlike people, small business still heavily relies on cheques to settle payments as credit card facilities cost a fortune however with threats that cheques will be removed from the banking system by 2016 its time to look for another way.  Today for the first time (and I know its been around for years) I did an online transfer to settle my accountants bill, straight from my account to his in a matter of minutes.  Result.

Whats the next big use of the postal service ?  You guessed it, Christmas cards………….. could this be the year people jack the cards in and go the e-card route ?  who knows, are you going to risk that person not getting a Christmas message at all ?  No you will probably pick up the phone which lets be honest is better than a card anyway.

Is this the end for Royal Mail ?  Well no, we will always need some form of postal service but in terms of how it exists today…….. Yes the business is dead – time to get back to work, re group, re write the business plan and create a new age postal service we can all be proud off but before its to late and before there is nothing to strike over.

It’s just a thought

Russell

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3 Comments on “Is this the end for Royal Mail ?”

  1. Jase Bell says:

    Nice post Russell,

    E-cards, well the only problem with them is that most of them look pretty naff. But I don’t think you are far wrong with the model, there’s nothing to say that the majority of the population with personalise their cards through the likes of moonpig.com, it’s the main distribution networks that really hold the keys to the Royal Mail and whether it lives or dies.

    Amazon decide to shift supplier, what if moonpig shift and all the other major distribution hubs in the UK. That’s what will kill the Royal Mail not the consumers.

    Totally agree with cheques (never did like them anyway)….

    Regards
    Jase

  2. Paul Anthony says:

    I think that e-cards are defo going online, and in fact greeting card companies will have to change business models to survive in the years to come.

    At the risk of sounding fanboyish – take a look at some of the work done by the guys at Front for Carte Blanche.There’s definitely a market for a more professional e-card experience.

    Just my two cents.

    Paul.

  3. Insightful post but I disagree that we will always need the Royal Mail – for instance TNT Post UK’s Managing Director has recently stated that they are looking into mail deliveries as well as expanding their courier service.

    James

    http://businessadvantage.wordpress.com


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