[LINK] UK Royal Mail sale

Frank O'Connor francisoconnor3 at bigpond.com
Fri Sep 13 00:13:11 AEST 2013

Yeah Jan,

Oz Post has experimented with a number of digital services over the last few years (digital certificates for ID purposes, secure e-mail boxes, etc etc) but has failed to come up with anything that either wasn't done better and more scalably by someone else (or more simply and transparently by an ordinary ISP), or that didn't look like a solution in search of a problem.

As you say, the inside of a post office nowadays is truly a wonder to behold, as is the range and scale of what they sell in a physical sense. I like it, because often you get to see products that you wouldn't see anywhere else, and the price is usually pretty competitive. The range of IT related consumables and sundry infotech items is also pretty surprising. They seem to sell pretty high volumes of the stuff as well (hey, what else are you gonna do when queuing for service but browse the shelves you trundle past?).

That said, and with conventional mail being supplanted big-time by its digital alternatives I see Australia Post's future as one dedicated to the old way of doing things for a few years (I still send letters, cards and the like to non technical relatives and friends), and becoming a regional hub for the over-the-counter stuff that banks, delivery services and the like are abandoning (and contracting out to Australia Post) in their reach for soul-less efficiency.

Additionally they could make a killing in e-commerce related services (as a deliverer, transaction facilitator, trusted payment service provider etc) but they may have left that puppy too late. About the only way they can compete with Fedex or DHL or the like nowadays is on price and geographic availability to the consignor, as they are constantly beaten on service and overseas reach by the majors. Given that they assign most of the actual delivery work to local contractors, the standard of service tends to be very variable ... whereas you know what to expect from the majors. That said, I like to see locals employed.

It'll be interesting to see where Australia Post goes over the next few years, but I'd be sad to see my local disappear. They seem to do humungous business (even out in the boondocks like here), and often have more clientele than many of the local major shops.

Just my 2 cents worth ...

BTW: I just noticed the change in your signature ... nice one!
On 12/09/2013, at 11:06 PM, Jan Whitaker <jwhit at janwhitaker.com> wrote:

> LONDON -- The U.K. coalition government has confirmed plans to 
> privatize the country's 500-year-old Royal Mail this fall.
> Business Secretary Vince Cable said Thursday an initial public 
> offering of a majority stake in the postal service was scheduled for 
> the coming weeks.
> Officials say the expected stock sale will be open to members of the 
> public as well as to larger institutional investors. The minimum 
> investment will be set at 750 pounds ($1,185) with Royal Mail 
> employees getting a slice of the stock offering.
> http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/12/uk-privatize-royal-mail_n_3912230.html
> I wonder if they are also experimenting with some of the digital 
> services Aussie Post is? Or turning their post offices into sundry 
> stores? I was in our local this week and saw everything from a 
> barbecue grill to a jellyfish aquarium. That is not a joke.
> Jan
> Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
> jwhit at janwhitaker.com
> Sooner or later, I hate to break it to you, you're gonna die, so how 
> do you fill in the space between here and there? It's yours. Seize your space.
> ~Margaret Atwood, writer
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> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
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