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Österreichische Post AG:Reorganisation measures under way

Pressemeldung from 07.08.2001

New concept for post office network approved

On Tuesday, 7 August 2001, the Supervisory Board of Österreichische Post AG approved the post office branch outlets concept submitted to it.
The aim of the concept is to achieve sustainable operational efficiency for Österreichische Post AG's entire branch network, which at present is comprised of about 2 300 post offices, while taking account of factors such as ease of access and population density.

4 tier model: "Post-Box", "", "Post-Partner", and postal service outlets
More service and more customer orientation

The main focus of the new post office branch outlets concept is on enlarging the service offering (new products as well as an extension of existing services and products, self-service machines, surf points and e-points, etc.) and on gearing its services more closely to customer demands, especially through "Post-Box", "" and "Post-Partner", the new types of post office operations introduced recently within the scope of a pilot project.

Positive results can be achieved only by pooling resources
The post office network's traditional structure gives rise to problems as the network has grown over a long period of time and, due to considerable changes in the population structure, in many cases no longer matches present-day customer demands. Up-to-date market surveys have identified the following customer demands: Attractive locations, enlarged range of products and services, more customer orientation as well as more flexibility.
In order to attain these goals it is necessary to merge, in a one-off concerted action, post office locations to lay the foundation for a new and more offensive post office network concept. There is no alternative, as post office locations faced with slack demand and low purchasing power stand no chance of sufficiently increasing their productivity.

Continued postal service coverage throughout the country remains ensured
An absolutely vital part of the concept is to ensure that postal services will remain available everywhere in Austria. Apart from the "Post-Partner" type of services, where local shops offer postal services in addition to their other business, the rural-type postal delivery, where in rural areas the "postman" offers other postal services in addition to mail and parcel delivery, presents a suitable way to ensure that postal services will be available everywhere in the country.
Even after the concept has been implemented, the number of post offices will be well in line with the European average when based upon population density figures.
While at present Austria has one post office for every 3,500 inhabitants, comparable figures for Denmark and France, for example, are 4000, and even 7000 in Germany and Belgium.
The Supervisory Board of Österreichische Post AG expects to save more than ATS 150 million (EUR 11 million) by 2002, and a further ATS 150 million (EUR 11 million) by 2003.

Taking regional particularities into account - dialog with the population
Österreichische Post AG plans to hold "regional conferences" to get in touch with mayors, municipal councillors and interest groups and discuss the time schedule and method of implementation or alternative solutions with the people affected by structural changes in the post office network. In a first step, Österreichische Post AG has selected two representative regions - Pinzgau and Weinviertel - to test whether or not this approach will turn out to be viable for all of Austria. Discussions with regional conferences all over Austria are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Taking into account the Universal Service Regulations issued by the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, the implementation of the post office branch outlets concept will be completed by the middle of 2002.

From Wednesday, 8 August 2001, a toll-free "post office network hotline" will be available to all customers having questions about the concept from 8.00 a.m. to 9 .00 p.m. on weekdays and from 8.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. on Saturdays. The number to call is 0800 212 212.

#Österreichische Post AG starts Eastern and Southern Europe business offensive in Slovenia and Slovakia

Österreichische Post AG is going to found a parcel delivery company in Slovenia.
The courier, express, and parcel market in south-eastern Europe offers particularly favourable conditions for Österreichische Post AG to venture into international business.
The growth potential of the Slovenian courier, express and parcel market is significantly higher than that of Western Europe, while the competitive situation is a much more favourable one.
During the build-up phase, Österreichische Post AG is going to concentrate on the Slovenian market, with a link-up to an international logistics network being on the medium-term agenda.
A similarly favourable situation can be found on the Slovakian market. For this reason, Österreichische Post AG has been authorised by its Supervisory Board to acquire a parcel service company in Slovakia.

#New distribution organisation ready to be implemented

The new distribution model is about to be put into practice. A change in the organisational structure of the distribution centres will result in the implementation of the following major issues: Lean and direct management with fewer hierarchical levels, creation of independent groups or teams, and definition of uniform standards for workflows and the assignment of responsibilities and tasks. Unambiguous and clear cost allocation allows detailed and reliable productivity benchmarking. Overhead costs are expected to be cut from a present 9 -10 percent, calculated on the basis of productive working time, to 6 percent. Once the model has been implemented throughout the country, net cost reductions will amount to approximately ATS 500 million a year.

#Divisional organisation structure

In line with market demands, process requirements, and the legal situation, the structure of Österreichische Post AG will in the future feature five divisions - Letters, Courier-Express-Parcel (CEP), Info Mail ( addressed and unaddressed), Media Services, and Counter Services - Branch Network.
This divisional type of organisation provides for goal-oriented, market-specific and flexible control and management with clearly identified responsibilities for results. The year 2001 will witness the definition of detailed structures and the start of division-based planning.

For further information, please contact

Österreichische Post AG
Business Communication
Press / PR
Mr. Michael Homola
Tel.: +43 (1) 515 51 - 32010