Established in 1969, and incorporated from the local government in 2006, Jersey Post now operates a network of 21 post offices across the island. In addition, Jersey Post provides postal delivery services to all Jersey residential households and business, five days a week. Sitting alongside the post office and delivery networks, is a range of complementary business services that enable Jersey Post to provide a full suite of postal products and services for businesses of any size and sector. These include bulk mailing and associated support services, as well as digital print and data management.
More recently, working with global partner networks in over 190 countries, Jersey Post has developed a comprehensive range of specialist, worldwide distribution routes. As part of the recent business expansion, they now have established trading locations outside of the Channel Islands including Newark and Chicago in the US, Hong Kong as well as in the UK. This expansion enables Jersey Post to provide on and off-island logistics management for any size, or type of item, in order to support our clients’ own business development and growth.
Business Improvement Project
Jersey Post enrolled a team of three onto the Jersey Business Improvement Programme comprising Michael Borowski from the Digital team, and Sarah Angell and Daniel McCarthy from the Business Analyst team, with a view to reviewing the campaign management process. This was chosen as the process was heavily manual and there was strong belief that there was scope to free up valuable resources.
The project commenced with the team creating a detailed Value Stream Map (VSM) gathering data and information across every aspect of the process. The key steps within the process were how data is received from customers, how lead technical designers use the data to set the project up, how jobs are finalised and then how Jersey Post creates the job for local and international delivery. It was important for the team to create the VSM by using knowledge from those who carry out the process on a daily basis.
As the team gathered the detail within the key process, they began to drill down into the sub steps and the VSM soon became a very expanded and visual tool, displayed within the company as a working document for analysis and communication. They were now in a position to collate opportunities for improvement through the 7 wastes analysis. Outlined below are their key findings.
- Individual spreadsheets are created for each request to create a correct SOS
- Different rates and prices for different clients Input manually
- When the client requests the job and information is missing, the process may be delayed.
- This also occurs when waiting for a confirmation on the Statement of Service
- Back and forth communications with Clients
- All quotes are manually calculated
- Unknown process of QA by our supplier
- Envelopes get stuck together and miscounted by the sorting machine.
- If letters are not C% they are hand counted
- Potential duplicated chains of communication from Client to Designer
As they further developed their lean tool-kit they created a simple problem statement: “Campaign management is taking up valuable resources which could be used elsewhere”. Ishikawa diagrams and spaghetti charts were created as the team encouraged more and more staff to be involved in the data analysis. A combination of “brown-paper maps” and digital software process flow maps were used as the team began to collate the analysis and develop improved ways of carrying out the process for the future.
The team were able to create a new future state process which addressed the majority of the wastes identified. This was achieved by working with the digital team, increasing the use of digital activities within the process and implementing changes that would focus on the quality of customer requirements at the front end. They were introducing a pull system as opposed to the current push system that has too much toing and froing of activity.
The success of the Campaign management project led to the team carrying on improvement activity on a customer services project. The Jersey Post Customer Services Team can take over 150 calls per day. Customer Service Enquiries can, in some way, be automated through:
- Automated Chat Bots
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
They set up a second project charter document highlighting how the majority of enquiries come in over the phone, which could be eliminated through better infrastructure on the website. The objective was to reduce in-company resource by enhancing customer choice and service.
There is potential to introduce an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that can interact with the callers through voice or touchpads on mobiles. It gathers information and gives the customer the most appropriate response or routes the customer to the most relevant agent. IVR could drastically reduce the number of calls allowing the team to put their focus on more complicated enquiries. In summary:
- A telephone system technology that interacts with the callers
- Gathers the required information and responds appropriately
- Automating Jersey Posts calls cans save a lot of time, allowing the agents to focus on the more complex enquiries.
Chat Bots would also reduce the number of calls the CS team receive and also deal with calls on a 24/7 basis. By automatically responding to customer enquiries, agents time will be freed up to focus on upselling products or building better relationships with customers and businesses. The team used study sheets and pareto charts to demonstrate volume data on the types of enquiry, the number of calls and the length of calls.
The team having now implemented two projects, have further enhanced the quality of implementation by identifying error proofing (Poka Yoke) aspects to on-going process life. These include:
- Campaign Management
- Statements of service – SOS required fields ensuring no information is missed
- Automatic calculation – reducing defects from the previous manually updated spreadsheets
- Pricing updates – Automatic updates
- Customer Services
- Chat bots are objective so cannot discriminate
- 24/7 service – customers can enquire at any time that suits them, not us (Buyers Process)
- Standardised scripts – no deviation from the process
As the new system has been introduced the business benefits have been calculated using the current base data. This data highlighted that 396 campaigns are produced each year by the technical development team. This data is exclusive to the print-to-mail campaigns which are the main outputs.
The new process will free up 2 hours per campaign in non-value add activity equating to 792 hours per annum. This has a financial benefit of £15,600.
The Customer service project will free up 1,000 hours of internal resource per annum equating to over £20,000 saved. All this whilst improving the customer experience.
The team are also keen to point out that this programme has given them techniques that are being used back in the business, all enhancing the culture change programme within Jersey Post. The improvement will not stop here as the team carry on activity on further projects and more staff have been lined up for the next Jersey Business Improvement Programme.
Team quote / experience:
“I have learnt a number of techniques that I will continue to use in the business. The programme was very practical and enjoyable, all presented in an engaging and fun manner.”
Daniel McCarthy, Business Analyst Jersey Post
“We were given the tools and techniques that we could use independently within our team. The sessions were interactive and informative giving us an enjoyable and hands on learning experience”
Sarah Angell, Business Analyst Jersey Post
The aim of the business improvement programme is to support established organisations to become more efficient and to deliver sustainable growth that will create market competitiveness and a solid operational platform for the future. It is managed by Jersey Business, funded by the Government of Jersey and delivered by Accelerate.
If you would like to get involved in a future programme contact us at [email protected]