Pooling strengths

Alex Glanzmann Head of Finance and Member of Executive Management

Swiss Post makes a profit every year. Why does it still require optimization?

Digitization and social change are progressing apace. If Swiss Post is to remain successful in the long term, it must continually adapt and optimize its organization. Reviewing our own cost and process landscape is simply a must.

How much does Swiss Post hope to save as a result of this optimization?

In the Finance, Human Resources and Communication function units, Swiss Post wants to reduce its costs by around 30 percent by 2020. However, the new management model should not be seen as just an efficiency measure – the aim is rather to simplify processes, increase transparency and reduce the effort required for internal coordination.

The project is scheduled to run until 2020. Why is it taking so long?

While it may appear long, the duration of the project gives the units concerned enough time to gear themselves towards the lower budgets. This approach is also more socially responsible than an immediate budget cut of 30 percent.

The boundaries between the markets in logistics and personal mobility, finance and communications are becoming increasingly blurred due to customers’ changing requirements. For this reason, Swiss Post is increasingly pooling and administering management responsibilities centrally.

Parcels can be ordered for delivery to a car boot with an app. Comprehensive integrated solutions for companies cover document processing, payment processing and logistics services. These are just a few examples of how the lines between Swiss Post’s markets are becoming blurred. Good reason for Swiss Post to also pool its management responsibilities, and in April 2017, Finance (F), Communication (K) and Human Resources (P) were converted to functional management. In 2018, Information & Communication Technology (ICT) will also be regrouped using functional management. In addition to improving efficiency and reducing costs, the primary goal of this reorganization is to sharpen the focus on customer requirements.

Consolidated competencies

With numerous measures implemented, Swiss Post has begun to optimize processes at Group level. At K, for example, the procu­re­ment of third-party services has been simpli­fied by the establishment of a pool with a redu­ced number of agency partners. Procurement competence has been centralized. At P, the central focus is on simplifying human resources processes. For F, it is on the harmonization of value flows: where many existing business processes used to be supported and handled by multiple systems, Swiss Post is now introducing a modern database solution.

Information Technology as a business enabler

ICT plays an important role in Swiss Post’s digital transformation because it manages every process and interaction between customers and partners and Swiss Post. It is also responsible for the development and functionality of competitive digital services. Swiss Post’s business units need intelligent and efficient solutions from a single source, in areas such as data management and process digitization. To improve efficiency still further, Swiss Post is preparing to merge the various ICT functions into a single organizational unit. At the same time, processes are being simplified and standardized, and existing functions and roles are being reviewed and added as required.