Cambodia Post is nearing the end of a modernization project, supported by the UPU and Japan, that will see it improve service levels, quality, affordability, and access to postal services as it continues its transition from a traditional postal service provider to a leading, global e-commerce-driven player.The project, which has been carried out with the support of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), Japan Post and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan (MIC), saw the development of a new Office of Exchange (OE), with modernized operational processes, a streamlined workflow and new mail handling equipment. The OE now also offers clear visibility of all mail flow and improved safety and security compliance.
“It has enabled us to establish proper domestic transport procedures, with clear cut-off and handover times,” explained Meng Sao, Project Manager at Cambodia Post. “We have also been able to enhance our international transport network, working with carriers who are electronic data interchange (EDI) capable and achieve a threefold increase in global reach.”
According to Sao, the project is a “first small step” toward modernizing overall operations at Cambodia Post. “As the national designated operator, we have a universal postal service mandate. We must improve our quality of service to be competitive with alternatives outside the postal sector who provide comparable services, and be economically sustainable to be able to maintain and expand our service delivery network,” Sao explained.
“Our project with the UPU, Japan Post and MIC is a first small step toward improving service quality and mail security according to international postal standards, increasing productivity and providing better working conditions for our postal employees. There is more to be done to bring Cambodia Post from a traditional postal service provider to a modern, global e-commerce driven economy player, to set a national standard for the industry outside the postal sector providing comparable services,” Sao added.
Prior to its modernization, Cambodia Post’s OE had fragmented workspaces and insufficient tools to handle mail. Sao noted that post could not be properly treated as they lacked visibility, security, and efficiency. The workspace also put a lot of strain on employees. In a period of just 12 months this all changed.
The new OE is now equipped with better mail handling equipment, such as roller conveyors, parcel trolleys, mail sorting benches and trays. Workflow has been streamlined thanks to improved processes for access control, sorting, and loading and unloading. The UPU, through its Quality of Service Fund, also sponsored a new, state of the art x-ray scanner to improve outbound mails security and compliance.
“With the new facility, our employees have better tools to execute their tasks, a safe and comfortable workspace, and clear and systematic workflows,” Sao explained. “With a proper standard and procedure, our employees have a clearer idea of who does what and when. The end result is more reliable end-to-end (E2E) quality and a steppingstone for Cambodia Post to pursue other pillars of ORE3 [Operation Readiness for E-commerce project].”
One specific benefit of the new OE, according to Sao, is that the post is now able to inform customers of the expected delivery days for their mail, and they now have clearer visibility of their mail journey, making Cambodia Post’s service more reliable. “We can now minimize operations costs and pass on the savings to our customers, making our service more affordable,” Sao said. “With a huge increase in international destinations, we will be able to serve a larger customer niche.”
Jan Bojnansky, UPU Supply Chain Coordinator, who has been managing the project activities, highlighted that the project’s success with its unprecedented implementation speed was due to the excellent cooperation between all partners. “This type of progress within one year is fantastic. Throughout my long career, I have never seen such quick improvements across all operational areas as we have managed to achieve in Cambodia. A great team of experts from Japan Post, a very enthusiastic Cambodian project team, experienced staff of the UPU International Bureau, and the dedicated and continuous support of the post’s top management were all critical to this success.”
As a continuation of this project, Cambodia Post is now in the process of working on other initiatives to improve operations. These include the creation of harmonized workspaces that promote closer collaboration among staff; the development of a new, centralized operation support center to provide better support to colleagues in branches nationwide, as well as providing a support point for customers; and the reorganization of workflows in the “front of house” service areas to provide more efficient service levels and to expand postal product offerings, such as insurance, packaging and travel and money exchange services and providing a business center.
“We are also working on a new IT ecosystem, which will include a new website with self-service and e-commerce features; a mobile app that will enable customers to book a pickup or delivery, as well as be informed about their mail status; an addressing database to improve delivery efficiency; and electronic parcel lockers to provide customers with more flexibility in how they receive their mail,” Sao concluded.
“In order to share best practices and enable other Posts to capitalize on this experience, we are going to present this success story during the upcoming WCO-UPU Conference in Tokyo this June. We also aim to extend our fruitful cooperation with Japan Post to cover more areas, offering new capacity-building and development opportunities to our members,” Bojnansky added.