The start of the Christmas season is almost upon us. Hopefully, this is a time when postmasters can spend a little time away from their offices doing whatever it is they enjoy at this time of year.
For me, I am looking forward to celebrating with friends and family and having a bit of time to take stock of the year. Firstly though, like every other postmaster across the country, I am bracing myself for the influx of cards, parcels, last minute international postage requests and perpetual stamp sticking!
The busy rush does bring with it quite a number of challenges for postmasters and staff and this will be the first Christmas with the requirement for international customs data entry onto Horizon. We all know this is a lengthy process, especially at busy times and we would like members' feedback. It will be interesting to see the impact of our businesses positive or negative.
I do believe that Post Office Ltd (PO) are in a much stronger position this year, due to the acquisition of other parcel carriers, namely Amazon, Evri and DPD. The PUDO market continues to grow, providing much-needed remuneration for postmasters. We are aware that the rollout is ongoing and it will be next year before the vast majority of the network will be actively offering these new products and services.
The NFSP is pushing PO to ensure that as many subpostoffices as possible can offer these services.
Over the last few weeks, we have been hearing positive feedback from the larger offices. However, we have also been hearing from single-counter post offices who are struggling with the sudden influx of parcels from the new carriers and we will push PO for solutions for these offices.
It has been noted from members (including myself!) that for some of these services, the Horizon journey appears to be overly cumbersome and we will be working with PO to streamline the parcel carrier services to make them more user-friendly and efficient.
We are also aware of different models and retail offerings in branches, with some preferring to use the Horizon system directly, but others preferring a more independently-running option and we will take this into account during our discussions.
Wishing you all the very best at this busy time of year and please continue to send us feedback on these new services.
Tags: Post Office