Our strategy and performance

INNOVATE & SERVE

Three years ago we identified innovation and service excellence as cornerstones of our success as a customer-focused organisation.

Since then we’ve dedicated ourselves to finding new and better ways to meet our customers’ needs – no small challenge given that they’re looking for speed, control and choice in their interactions, technological ingenuity in services and solutions, and environmental, social and employer responsibility in their suppliers.

In the past 12 months we’ve invested in all three fronts, and with our people’s support have taken some important and rewarding steps. It’s required a whole new way of thinking and some fundamental changes to the way we work, but has brought with it much-improved prospects for our organisation as a mail and logistics provider of choice.

  • Digitisation.
  • Changing customer needs.
  • Competitor threat and disruption.
  • Climate change.
  • Demographic change.

“Customer first and customer led is a core principle of any successful organisation”
Jonathan Court, Key Customer Manager, Z Energy

“Technology is the key to NZ Post’s business transformation. It can move the business from where it’s been, to where the world is going”
Senior Manager, New Zealand Post

Empowering our people to deliver service excellence

In the past year we’ve developed and made progress towards a new organisational model, in which our frontline leaders will have greater decision-making responsibilities. They’ll be supported by a central backbone of services, with many of the day-to-day systems and processes driven by technology rather than people.

With access to tools that reduce administration time, these leaders will be able to focus on building and growing relationships with their customers and responding to service opportunities.

Implementing change on this scale requires a major investment in:

  • Our people to ensure they have the confidence and skills to take on their new roles
  • Our systems to ensure that our people have the structure and tools to do their jobs well
  • The way we work, to ensure that our people have workplaces in which they can thrive and our business can flourish.

We’re now well underway with this work, with frontline leaders heavily involved in shaping their new roles and identifying the support, tools and processes they need.

Introducing service innovations

Our commitment to innovation and service extended in 2015/16 to developing a range of products and services to meet our customers’ needs for speed, convenience and flexibility. For example, our parcels business launched new delivery options to make it easier for people to pick up their consignments, including:

  • Parcel Leave, through which recipients authorise us to leave parcels at their addresses when they’re not there to sign for them
  • Parcel Redirect, which enables recipients to redirect their parcels to one of our collection points, which as well as New Zealand Post retailers include a growing number of Countdown stores and Z Energy service stations
  • ParcelPod, which allows recipients to direct their parcels to dedicated parcel lockers, then collect them any time. ParcelPods are currently available in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Wellington and Christchurch.

Our digital design team also developed a number of solutions that add value to our customer relationships and have commercial potential. These included:

  • BringIt, which enables people to use their smartphones to order items from retailers and have them delivered across town by urgent courier.
  • Change, which enables people moving house to update their address details in one place online and easily send them to organisations (e.g. a power company) of their choice.

Championing sustainability at work and beyond

As we’ve done for many years, we seek every opportunity to reduce our impacts on the environment.

Our efforts do much more than tick the ‘done that’ box – we help our suppliers and customers to minimise their impacts too. For example, in 2015/16 we hosted a workshop with key suppliers on ways to work together to identify and reduce our environmental impacts, and ultimately improve our standing among our increasingly discerning customers.

Improving our environmental performance

A highlight of our sustainability programme in 2015/16 was the successful pilot of electric delivery vehicles in New Plymouth. This led to substantial reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and fuel costs; in one month we saw GHG emissions in the pilot area reduce by more than 65% and fuel costs by more than 60%.

Our GHG performance can only get better as we deploy the electric vehicles in other parts of New Zealand, access the emissions-related benefits of our more energy-efficient new aircraft, and undertake other fleet-management practices that include:

  • Using modern, fuel-efficient vehicles
  • Providing drivers with training in fuel-efficient driving practices
  • Introducing energy standards for heavy vehicles and specifying age limits for vans
  • Ensuring the freight network is appropriate for the load it’s expected to carry, taking full advantage of the latest high-productivity vehicle dimension rules.

Other environmental sustainability initiatives during 2015/16 included:

  • Continuing a focus on waste prevention (our current recycling rate is 76% against a target of 80%) and developing a Waste Strategy to take us through to 2020
  • Continuing a focus on energy efficiency in our buildings including the development of a refreshed Energy Strategy and Implementation Plan to take us through to 2020
  • Partnering with the Packaging Forum to enable customers to drop off used courier and postal satchels at recycling collection points such as The Warehouse, PAK’NSAVE, New World and Countdown stores
  • Joining a number of other New Zealand organisations in ‘upcycling’ our old postie and corporate uniforms.

We also implemented a new reporting approach that enables us to measure GHG emissions on a ‘per parcel’ and ‘per letter’ basis.

Our carbon emissions increased this year on an absolute (an increase of 8.3%) and intensity per parcel (1.3%) and per letter (5.9%) basis.Three main factors influenced this increase:

  • A change to our organisational boundary (following good practice), which now incorporates emissions associated with our YouShop service (an extra 4,000 tCO2e)
  • An increase in outbound freight (emissions associated with us sending mail items to countries around the world for our customers)
  • An increase in the amount of electricity used to heat and cool our buildings.

The last two increases are disappointing and plans are in place to address them in the coming year. Pleasingly, we did see a reduction in carbon emissions in key focus areas: fuel use in our vehicle fleet; domestic air freight (both of which indicate we are moving items more efficiently in the network); corporate air travel; natural gas use and waste/recycling.

Awards and certification

Official recognition of our efforts in the sustainability space during 2015/16 included:

  • A judges’ commendation for our energy management in the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards
  • Enviro-Mark Platinum certification for our mail-house operations. This recognised our work in identifying, communicating and managing health, safety and environmental risks in the workplace, and has provided invaluable evidence to our business customers of our commitment to wellbeing and environmental sustainability.

We have been CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme) certified since 2013. CEMARS certification is awarded to companies that actively work to understand and improve their environmental impacts.

We have been a member of the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) for over 5 years, a globally recognised standard designed to determine the real value and impact of corporate community investment to business and society.

Ensuring a safe and healthy workforce

2015/16 saw a strong continued decline in the number of workplace injuries requiring treatment from medical providers – an impressive 43% reduction from 508 in 2014/15 to 288 in the past 12 months.

This is a real credit to our managers and their teams, who are determined to reach our target of zero harm. In the Auckland area, 12 out of 16 mail delivery branches went 12 months injury free, a significant achievement given the daily risks of accident to our delivery agents.

Our commitment to health and safety extends beyond our employees to include contractors, suppliers, customers and members of the public, and we are conscious of the potential risks of our activities to the community. To ensure compliance with the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, we’ve liaised closely with WorkSafe New Zealand to check that our systems and processes align with the Act’s intent, and made sure that our delivery contractors are aware of their new responsibilities.

We have maintained our top-level ‘tertiary’ status in ACC’s Workplace Safety Management Practices programme. This recognises that we “operate a continuous improvement framework for workplace health and safety management”.

We’ve also developed an online learning module that teaches our employees how best to deal with aggressive or abusive customers.

Serving our community

New Zealand Post has a long and proud history of contributing to our communities through both our physical presence in PostShops nationwide and specific community initiatives. During 2015/16 these included:

  • Providing every member of our staff with a paid day off for voluntary work in their communities. The choice of activity is theirs – some choose physical work such as digging walkways and helping out in rest homes, while others contribute their professional skills, such as in providing bookkeeping services for charities
  • With Kiwibank, supporting the Ākina Foundation, which helps social enterprises to access funding and support to address and resolve social and environmental issues in their communities (see the case study for more on this)
  • NZ Post supported the Red Cross’ annual fundraising appeal in March 2016 by distributing donation postcards throughout its store network. We've also continued our support to communities by reaching over 250,000 children through our partnerships with NZ Cricket’s junior cricket programme, Weetbix Kids TRYathlon, Tennis HotShots and Hockey Small Sticks. Over 2,300 not-for-profit groups also received NZ Post’s support through Community Post to help with their community projects.

Looking ahead:

Our focus on ‘innovation and service excellence’ will continue in 2016/17 through initiatives that include:

  • Exploring and developing new ways to give our customers choice and control
  • Using technology to improve both the customer experience and our operational efficiency
  • Strengthening our online presence as a hub for products and services, and providing a seamless online and offline customer experience
  • Supporting frontline leaders in their new roles by providing data and market intelligence with which to make more informed decisions for their local operations
  • Developing tools and templates to speed up key business processes, ensure consistency and eliminate the risks of errors and incomplete information
  • Maintaining our drive towards zero harm in our workplaces
  • Working with more business customers to identify opportunities to collaborate on sustainability programmes
  • Researching the use of smart-charging technology to reduce the costs and environmental impacts of charging our new electric delivery vehicles
  • Renewing our sustainability strategy and setting new targets and actions for reducing energy consumption and waste to landfill. This includes developing ‘end of life’ options for obsolete equipment such as delivery bikes and walk bags
  • Collaborating with our outbound freight service providers on carbon reduction initiatives
  • Trialling electric vans for our delivery network, and assessing the option of electric cars for our business fleet
  • Helping employees to consider commuting options such as public transport and carpooling
  • As a Z Energy customer and a foundation partner for its new biodiesel production plant in Wiri, using Z Bio D to power our diesel vehicles (see the case study for more on this).

Case Studies: