Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) has announced immediate measures to improve service quality following a S$100,000 (US$73,600) penalty imposed by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) for missing its Quality of Service standards in 2017.
Paul Coutts, group chief executive officer, said, “We deeply apologize to our customers for our service failures. We have heard their complaints and feedback; we feel their frustrations and seek to win back their trust.
“The immediate measures we are announcing will address the most pressing issues and provide improvement in service quality over the next three to six months.”
A fundamental review of SingPost’s mail operations is underway to raise reliability and service standards, and to meet the demands of the evolving postal landscape over the years ahead.
Changes in the postal landscape are driven by the rapid rise of e-commerce that has injected large volumes into the traditional mail infrastructure because of cheaper postage. This has raised the postman’s workload with a significant rise in package deliveries being made to doorsteps, over and above the delivery of mail to letter boxes. During the seasonal e-commerce surge in the last few months, each postman on average carried out between 50 and 60 doorstep deliveries per day.
In view of this, SingPost is reassessing the job of its postmen to ensure that they are resourced and equipped to handle the e-commerce boom, without compromise to their safety and well-being.
SingPost is working with government agencies and the Union of Telecoms Employees of Singapore (UTES) to upgrade the skill-set of its postal workers and significantly expand its workforce to meet the requirements of rising e-commerce volumes.
Other improvements to service quality include:
• Increasing the postal delivery workforce by hiring an additional 100 postmen and redeploying 35 mail-drop drivers to become full-time postmen;
• Enhancing postmen’s remuneration with incentives for successful deliveries of trackable items to the doorstep. Launched on February 1, 2019, this will be part of a broader salary structure review to ensure remuneration is better aligned with the requirements of the job and the industry as a whole; • Reducing missed deliveries by extending mail delivery slots to weekday evenings and on Saturdays, with overtime pay for postmen who volunteer for these after-hours slots;
• Improving parcel collection experience by increasing the number of dedicated counters and staff at post offices for parcel collection. Since the start of the year, volunteers from SingPost’s corporate office have been helping out on weekends;
• Focusing the postal service on core mail delivery by reducing non-core mail businesses such as advertisement mail to improve service levels on core mail delivery.
Coutts said, “These are the first steps currently taken to address our customers’ immediate pain points and to rebuild the trust we have lost. Please bear with us as we look into longer-term measures that address other issues that customers have raised.
“We will continue to explore harnessing new technology and infrastructure to enhance our delivery process – and most importantly, investing in the welfare of our workforce.
“SingPost has been Singapore’s national postal service provider for 160 years. We are part of the community with a national duty to Singapore and the people of Singapore. This is the core of our business, and 160 years on, it will continue to be our commitment to the community, and to Singapore.”