Senior Executives from Asia and Europe met on 1-2 March 2016 in the UK for INFORM’s 3rd Senior Executive Forum to ‘see behind the curtain’ and share experiences of trends in parcel management and distribution. The forum took place in the unusual setting of the historic Coombe Abbey Hotel, near Coventry. The format is also unusual amongst international events in the postal industry - because it is small and intimate, there is a high degree of open and honest information sharing, including what has been learned from different approaches and projects. Also, the informality ensures that there is a lot of discussion and interaction during the presentations and in between.
To help participants feel able to make connections quickly over topics of mutual interest, the forum began with introductions around the table where each was able to mention what they were willing to share about, what they wanted to learn about and any other expectations. The Chair then gave a brief overview of the sector and market insight.
The first afternoon sessions included an explanation of Posten Norge’s award winning sustainability initiatives and an outline of their plans for a new logistics hub outside of Oslo. This was followed by a presentation on parcel logistics and delivery from NZ Post. The final input of the afternoon was a key note from Peter Somers - his reflections on the postal world including the latest examples of digitalisation, disruptive innovation and strategies of key sector players. He also shared where he thinks it all might lead, concluding with his advice of 10 things that posts can do to be successful.
The highlight of the evening was a site visit to the brand new UK Mail parcel centre in nearby Ryton where participants were able to see the hub operating and to have all their different operational systems explained, including INFORM’s efficient yard management system, Syncro TESS.
There was a further rich variety of input on the second day, including an update on the current three pillar strategy of Magyar Posta and the dynamic developments in the ongoing transformation of Singapore Post, both with e-commerce and their strong focus on customer centricity. Then Swiss Post also described how they are planning for the future of parcel operations – which will be very different from the past. The Chair concluded the forum with a review and summary of the whole event.
This 3rd edition of the “SEF” was yet another very successful event which was appreciated by all who took part, both for the formal inputs and information shared but also because it was punctuated with many opportunities to ask questions, discuss issues raised and build strong connections between participants.
Report by Derek Osborn, SEF Chair.