Business

Posta out for a return to its days of glory

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By CHRISTINE MUNGAI

Posted  Monday, March 21   2011 at  00:00

In a move intended to re-position the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) against challenges brought on by the digital era and changing competitive landscape, IBM’s Corporate Service Corps conducted a research survey on the attitude of Kenyans toward the service.

The findings indicate that a paradigm shift in operations in needed, in the light of technological innovations and increasing competition.

“These challenges present opportunities for Posta Kenya: Diversification of business into financial services, and as a partner in e-government,” IBM marketing manager John Fredette said.

Several key trends were identified notably that people view PCK as “trustworthy” and “reliable”; however the general perception in the marketplace is that PCK is somewhat out-of-date.

The findings also indicate that the post office is still used for mail services ­ yet many were not aware of PCK’s other services ­including electronic funds transfer and mobile bill payments.

Muriuki Mureithi of Digital Opportunity Trust Kenya, an NGO contracted by IBM to facilitate the project said that nonetheless, PCK enjoys a unique position.

“Its strong network of branches and agency locations throughout the country provides a competitive advantage to be reckoned with.”

IBM recommends that PCK’s organisational structure should ­put together an executive level sales management team focused on exploiting new opportunities brought about by the digital era.

The corporation should also seek to add young and energetic talent to the organisation, and explore the possibility of a new technology internship programme.

In addition, a re-branding of PCK ­ is needed to address the “out-of-date” sentiment in the marketplace ­ and also to promote new services.

However, “reliability” and “trust” are two brand attributes that PCK should be keen to exploit in marketing efforts.

Among the greatest opportunities for Posta Kenya is to digitise its operations and take advantage of the country’s extending fibre optics network.

“The corporation could maximise on existing IT infrastructure to connect all its branches, for instance. This will improve efficiency in money transfers across the country,” said Mr Fredette.