News vom 25.01.2010
More Post for AustriaFederal Chamber of Commerce, Association of Municipalities and Austrian Post present a new service and partner offensive
Austrian Post is focusing greater attention on the wishes of its customers. Today the company presented the Post.Partner Concept 2010, the first cornerstone of its drive to improve customer service. It more strongly takes account of customer demands for greater accessibility and improved opening hours of postal service points, particularly in rural areas. Within the framework of its partner campaign, Austrian Post is making an offer to all municipalities, i.e. to establish a postal service point in every municipality. Austrian Post will cooperate with the Austrian Association of Municipalities and the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce to find new Post.Partner (partner-operated postal service points) throughout the country. “This represents the first step in our programme to provide more service and expanded customer proximity on the part of Austrian Post”, says Chief Executive Officer Georg Pölzl.
A new study gives high marks to Austria’s postal partner offices. 77% of the 500 people interviewed in communities where a partner-operated postal service point was opened in recent months said they were very satisfied or satisfied with the service provided. In particular, people consider the opening hours, which often extend to Saturday as well, along with the possibility to get things done and take care of one’s postal needs at the same time, as distinct advantages. “We want to ensure that Austrians are provided with modern postal services in a service-oriented manner and on a nationwide basis, exceeding the requirements stipulated by law. For this reason, we offer communities the opportunity to discuss with us the possibility of setting up a postal partner office in their own town. For our customers, this will mean even more service, shorter distances and longer opening hours”, states Georg Pölzl on launching the nationwide search for new partners of Austrian Post. “The focus of this initiative being carried out in cooperation with the Association of Municipalities and the Federal Chamber of Commerce is clearly to increase the density of our network of postal partners and improve our service-oriented operations. In this way, Austrian Post fulfills the spirit of the new Postal Act, requiring Austrian Post to provide the population with nationwide postal services on a sustainable basis.”
“Within the framework of this Austrian model of success, i.e. the postal partner system, domestic firms throughout Austria are making a major contribution towards maintaining local services. Some 420 postal partner offices perceptibly demonstrate that it is possible to ensure that people do not have to do without postal services“, Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce Christoph Leitl emphasizes.
“The postal partnership comprises an important support mechanism enabling local businesses such as grocery stores to survive economically. Assuming responsibility for providing postal services is a three-fold win-win situation. It not only provides the population with crucial postal services, but postal partner offices attract new customers and generate additional income whereas Austrian Post increases its competitiveness”, Christoph Leitl continues.
“We want to open up new postal service points, not close any down“, says Helmut Mödlhammer, President of the Austrian Association of Municipalities. “Our goal is to have a postal service point in every municipality, also at locations where one did not exist beforehand.” On the one hand, this is an important basis enabling Austrian Post to fulfill its legally stipulated duty to provide universal postal services on a nationwide basis. “But above all, it is a chance to stimulate development in rural areas”, Mödlhammer adds. Unfortunately, it is probably not possible in the long run to prevent the traditional post office from shutting down in some areas. “But it is also up to us to actively contribute to the process of finding new postal partners.”
Mödlhammer has defined the role of the Association of Municipalities in the campaign being carried out in cooperation with Austrian Post and the Federal Chamber of Commerce: “We will make a sustained effort to continually inform our mayors about opportunities to set up new postal service points. The local leaders are playing an important role in this regard, because they can get things moving in their communities and help to identify suitable partners to serve as postal service points. This represents a good chance for those municipalities which have neither a post office nor a postal partner at the present time”, Mödlhammer concludes.
The Post.Partner success story
It has long been established that the Post.Partner concept has been a success story for many years, according to Herbert Götz, Member of the Management Board of Austrian Post with responsibility for the Branch Network Division. More than 200 partner-operated service points have been opened since the summer of 2009 alone. On balance, Austrian Post operates a total of 419 postal service points together with its postal partners, alongside 1,133 company-operated branches. Since the contracts were changed in the previous year, the postal partners have featured an expanded product portfolio. Accordingly, they now offer the same services provided by a small post office.
“Together we our partners, the Association of Municipalities and the Federal Chamber of Commerce, we have entered into a dialogue with communities and business people. It is important for us to actively approach the mayors and develop an optimal solution for ensuring local postal service“, states Herbert Götz. “At the same time, we are also further improving service in our entire branch network, both in terms of postal and banking services. For example, we are expanding the product portfolio and opening hours”, he adds.
Post.Partner (partner-operated postal service points) are local service providers such as grocery stores, tobacconists, pharmacies or also public offices. They assume responsibility for handling services normally supplied by post offices, and are paid for doing so. The remuneration system has been significantly improved. In 2009, Austrian Post also agreed to pay the IT expenses of its postal partners totalling about EUR 800 annually. Furthermore, Austrian Post also offers its partner-operated postal service points a quality bonus of up to EUR 3,000 annually and additional revenue from the sale of post-related services of EUR 15,000 on average. Compensation for services rendered is in line with clearly-defined rates of commission, which will be revised on an annual basis in the future to reflect the inflation rate. (For example, postal partners currently receive 20 cents for each letter that is posted, 98 cents for accepting parcels and 72 cents for giving it to the intended recipient.) More information is available at www.post.at/postpartner or at http://wko.at.
Ms. Ina Sabitzer
Head of Group Communications
Austrian Association of Municipalities
Mr. Daniel Kosak
Head of Press Relations and Communications
Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Rupert Haberson
Head of the Press Department