Mark Bigley, CEO of Secured Mail and director at The Delivery Group, the fastest growing mail company in the UK. Mark gives his views on what’s next for the mail industry.
When talking about the mail industry and the future, it’s important not to generalise. Different sectors of the industry face their own challenges and their own opportunities, but critical to everything is service levels and price.
Secured Mail has seen exponential growth in particular in our ecommerce division and that’s a sector which provides a huge opportunity for mail firms, but also one of the biggest challenges, that challenge is to constantly supply improved services at lower costs.
E-commerce, is and will always be cost driven, whilst there may be a small trend for people to spend more to get deliveries faster, the vast majority of people still want free delivery options as part of their on-line shopping experience.
Through our own analysis of mail data, 96% of respondents over the age of 50 highlight delivery cost as a key factor when shopping. Even at the 16-25 age range 80% cite delivery costs as a key factor when shopping online.
With those demands in mind, mail companies need to maintain profitability while keeping mail costs as low as possible and still delivering a high quality service.
At Secured Mail, our strategy has been to stay lean and flexible and most importantly, constantly innovate in the use of new technology. By using technology effectively, we can both improve services and keep the costs low to the end user. Only recently we’ve invested in new systems including new label recognition software and state of the art sortation systems, which improve delivery times and tracking but keep processing costs low. Through investment and innovation like this, we can ensure delivery services are both fast and have a sustainable low price, ensuring that the end service fits with the core priorities of the users.
Outside of ecommerce another key trend we’ve experienced in the last few years is more businesses looking to outsource mail services and this is something we predict for the future of the industry. Our sister company in The Delivery Group, CMS, looks after this side and it’s an element of the business which has seen incredible growth.
The future environment for managed mail will be more pressure for heightened security, rising property costs and a need to improve service quality. It’s an increasing headache for businesses and those firms really need to innovate and maximise the use of technology, to ensure a high quality, cost efficient service. Outsourcing for this sector is becoming a strong consideration over the next few years because firms can benefit from the technology and service expertise of mail providers like CMS and save money, potentially improve service quality and cut rising costs in the future.
So if I’m asked what do I see for the future of mail in the next 10 years, well both opportunity and challenge across the board, but the overriding trend will still be providing a great service at low cost.