NZ Post to integrate parcel and mail systems, target e-commerce

Sick of parcels being delivered when you are out? NZ Post has a plan for that.

NZ Post is targeting the business of international e-commerce companies and planning to integrate its mail and parcel delivery systems as part of its five-year digital transformation plan.

It is also hatching a plan to address a common customer bug-bear by developing an online service to allow customers to specify where and when they want their parcels delivered, to authorise deliveries in their absence and get notifications of expected arrival times.

In August, the company reported a "solid" NZ$143 million profit for the year to the end of June, but NZ132 million of that came from its banking and financial services arm, Kiwibank.

It also warned of a potentially tough year ahead.

"The ongoing and accelerating decline in the core letters business, softening global and domestic economies and strong competition in all our markets mean we will have to move faster again this year to maintain positive momentum," it said.

After a physical restructuring, a revival of the company's mail and parcel business now hinges on a series of digital developments to support e-commerce customers, the state-owned company's annual report reveals.

In addition to an active and growing API development programme, NZ Post has combined the leadership and support functions of its mail and parcels delivery businesses. It now plans to connect its mail and parcels systems and processes to help it become more customer-centric.

"We're now working to integrate the mail and parcels operational and IT systems - a complex task which, once complete, will make the customer experience richer and the teams' lives easier," the company's annual report says.

Supporting offshore and on-shore e-commerce is key.

NZ Post is planning to launch an e-commerce platform for offshore e-traders and logistics businesses that use its global parcel delivery network.

"This platform will provide support throughout the delivery chain (including real-time updates on progress), regardless of the nature and number of service providers along the way," it says.

NZ Post also plans to support smaller online enterprises sending and receiving goods via its PostShops by connecting them to its online international logistics chain and labelling, fulfilment, tracking and returns service.

Kiwibank, meanwhile, has completed the first phase of a NZ$100 million-plus SAP core banking system replacement, the report says. It is also investing in technology and systems to engage with customers who don't have branches nearby.

"The aim is to provide online and digital services that match as closely as possible to those provided in-branch," the report says.