4 SEPTEMBER 2002
By Kurt Sansone
Dismissing any connection between the number of post office branches and the companys growth Maltapost Chief Executive Robert Lake said that growth will depend on the companys capability of introducing new and innovative services.
Mr Lake was answering questions put to him by The Malta Financial and Business Times following rumours that Maltapost was considering closing down some post office branches. This newspaper asked Mr Lake whether the company expected to increase growth by maintaining the current number of post office branches.
The New Zealander continued that growth would also depend on the companys ability to operate efficiently while ensuring that the service is reliable and good value for money.
Mr Lake added: "Other factors that contribute to the growth of Maltapost are appropriate use of technology, standardization of work and the development of a performance led culture."
The chief executive warned that traditional post is under threat from alternative communication channels such as email, SMS, faxes, direct credit and e-government initiatives. "To counteract the threats and ensure growth, Maltapost needs to change its ways and face the challenges being posed by modern technology," Mr Lake said.
To sustain growth the company also needs to increase volume and revenue. Mr Lake told this newspaper that the recent increase of local postage from 6 cents to 7 cents will help to ensure a steady growth in revenue.
"However, there will be new initiatives taken to encourage volume growth of the post that is handled. The company is embarking on a strategic plan, which will see new initiatives being launched on a regular basis."
Commenting on the needs of the business community, which is Maltaposts biggest client, Mr Lake said that the first initiative launched by the company to target businesses, the Postie Pick-Up service, received an overwhelming response.
Mr Lake added: "The introduction of the Postie Pick-Up enabled us [Maltapost] to come in contact on a daily basis with our business customers and obtain valuable information about their particular needs."
The chief executive maintained that shortly the company would also be introducing a new and innovative tailor-made service for the benefit of our business customers. He did not elaborate but said that details of the service would be announced in due course.
Speaking about non-business clients Mr Lake said that Maltapost realises the different needs of businesses and consumers. He explained that the companys objective is to process and deliver all mail the next day called J+1 or Jour +1.
Mr Lake concluded: "Product development and enhancement will focus on businesses and consumers differently."