Saudi Post has announced the launch of a major new transformation and unveiled its new brand identity: ‘Saudi Post and Logistics’ (SPL).
In a virtual ceremony, the President of the Saudi Postal Corporation Eng. Anef bin Ahmad Abanomi explained that the rationale for the new identity came about as a result of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 which represents a unique model reflecting the Kingdom’s ambitions for the future. The vision of Saudi Post is based on that of the Kingdom, and this was the main motivation for re-examining the business model and the need for it to be compatible with the national transformation, he said.
“In so doing, we have been working on an ambitious plan to build a system of multiple networks, establish a unified national address system and provide a package of individually tailored postal services based on those logistics. We aim to achieve significant leaps in our operations and provide innovative services that keep pace with the government’s approach to transforming the Kingdom into a global logistical platform,” he added.
Abanomi went on to explain that Saudi Post was going through a huge transformation to provide a better experience for its customers and partners.. “The ambition of Vision 2030 is to create opportunity, boost investment and productivity, invest for the future and capitalise on the geographic location of the Kingdom as a global hub. Our strategy is to capture the growing eCommerce market and transform from where we are as a very traditional postal authority to become a national champion as well as a regional player,” he said.
“Right now, Saudi Post operates to handle traditional mail… 80% of the network is geared towards that, while 20% is geared towards parcels. Little has changed in that regard since 1985. The organisation was never built to make a profit since it was set up primarily as a services organisation built around offering citizens the best possible postal services.
“But now, we are going through a process of privatisation – moving from government ownership to private ownership. Accordingly, we need to raise the quality of service and reduce the costs to government. We also have to change the company culture from not thinking about commercial returns to actually making a profit. And we have to do this before 2025.
“The market overall has been changing dramatically during the past few years. Mail volume has been falling while eCommerce and parcels delivery is rising exponentially. Financial services are also on the rise. There is also a growing demand for specialised logistics services; and all this is going on against a background of the disruptions caused by technology.”
Abanomi explained that the new strategy would focus on three key areas of significant transformation:” Evolution of the Business Focus to become a trusted logistics provider to the government, to be the eCommerce logistics market leader, expanding into new business adjacencies and developing opportunistic moves, while operating as a group and becoming financially independent and attractive to investors; Leadership & Culture whereby SPL would become a fully corporatized entity with clear financial goals and governance, achieving high standards in customer experience and satisfaction as well as becoming one of the most sought-after employers in the region; External Stakeholder Relations under which it would thrive through fostering partnerships with external stakeholders and become more agile to achieve effective productivity gains.
“We have a number of major investments planned,” said Abanomi, “such as a redesign of our retail network, a revamp or our Operational Network, improved customer experiences and new digital capabilities, and a state of the art sorting facility, which will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, using advanced technologies and automation to deliver an operational capacity of more than 70 million parcels annually, to keep pace with future growth in business.
“In our analysis, Saudi Post has a lot of leverage,” he continued. “We exist everywhere in the Kingdom. And it’s not just about having branches everywhere, but more importantly, these branches have links to the surrounding communities. This kind of knowledge takes years to build up. We have already started partnering with the likes of Amazon; and we also deliver on behalf of DHL in regions outside the main cities in the Kingdom.”
Saudi Post and Logistics is 100% owned by Saudi Post and is being commercially built from scratch. Meanwhile Saudi Post is going through three phases – transformation, then corporatisation and then privatisation. The transformation stage started in 2017 with the start of the privatisation programme.
Abanomi stated that the new SPL would measure itself against global standards, but would be realistic in terms of where it is and where it wanted to be in the future. The company already had a number of assets and strengths on which it could capitalise.
“For instance, with our large Saudi work force we intend to redeploy manpower to improve productivity,” he said. “We are also the sole owner and operator of the National Address system which provides a unified and comprehensive addressing system for all regions, cities, and villages in Saudi Arabia. It enables more than 16 million registered customers and residents to receive various services, such as home delivery services, eCommerce services, and postal services. This gives large monetisation potential with services such as delivery, API, and geo-location. National Address usage can be increased for individuals by embedding it as part of the Saudi culture and for corporations through incentives.”
Abanomi also said that the company is unique in its ‘Last Mile’ capabilities, with EMS and Official Mail providing last mile offerings supported by Saudi Post’s capillary network with a good quality of service, a well-proven trucking system and three delivery options.
“Our National Coverage also gives us a unique advantage,” he said. “We have around 550 branches and agencies, over 500,000 post office boxes, over 60 parcel stations in 30 cities, 13 sorting centres and over 840 vehicles across KSA and we are unparalleled when it comes to mailing services.”
Abanomi pointed out, however, that with this planned transformation comes other issues. “The present Government subsidy only covers part of the large and increasingly fixed personnel cost base, not allowing SP to deliver on its expected quality standards goals. Currently 77% of our total cost base is spent on fixed personnel costs which is around ten times higher than other similar organisations. Remember, too, that postal services are offered at subsidised prices while official mail and other Government services are provided at a loss. But unlike other operators in the market, Saudi Post is mandated to offer postal services to all regions in the Kingdom – and these include significant regions with low demand and unprofitable operations.”
Reflecting the new entity of Saudi Post and Logistics, a new logo has been designed intertwining the Arabic and English letters and featuring blue tones which are associated with confidence, technical development and future growth.
At the same time, a new bilingual company website has been created (https://splonline.com.sa) which will make it easier for customers to learn more about the product offerings of SPL.
A new smart phone application has also been developed which features a’chatbot’ service designed to help customers by interacting with them and answering their enquiries.
Abanomi concluded by saying that the launch of SPL would mark a major new milestone in the Kingdom’s fortunes. “Our overall vision is to be the national champion in postal and logistics solutions, providing added value to our customers and linking Saudi Arabia to the world,” he said.
“Our mission, is to be the modern logistics arm of KSA commerce and government digitisation, providing top quality service to our customers. SPL will reflect the aspirations of our confident nation for a future in which we will become the crossroads of global trade routes, a centre connecting the four corners of the world and a logistical hub which will transform the Kingdom into a global logistical platform.
“So unquestionably there are going to be exciting times ahead for Saudi Post & Logistics over the next few years and customers can expect to see a massive improvement in the range and quality of services on offer.”