Everyone’s favourite delivery service, SingPost, has had many featured articles about them here not just in Goody Feed but plastered over every news outlet.
And it’s (mostly) for their incompetence in delivery services over the past few months.
Lest you haven’t been keeping up and your parcels have all been safely delivered (lucky you), SingPost has been under fire for postmen anyhowly throwing collection slips at people’s doors, throwing undelivered letters in a rubbish bin, and even their bad customer service in refunds made for lost parcels.
While most of us would say SingPost is “hopeless” and “useless” and vowed to never use their services again whenever possible, we’d all agree that change is still in order.
But finally, a shot at redemption for SingPost has come about with the appointment of a new chief executive officer in the midst of the fray, who plans to lead the company to rise from the ashes.
New CEO, New Changes
45-year-old Mr Vincent Phang has stepped up to the challenge of becoming SingPost’s new CEO, aiming to change the company for the better after admitting that the company does have delivery shortcomings.
With his new responsibility, he announced that SingPost will be rolling out new short-term and long-term changes to win the trust of Singaporeans yet again.
These changes will be tested out in a total of four phases this year and next year and aim to directly solve the problems that have been occurring with their services as of late.
Let’s hope it really does.
Specialised Delivery Team and Evening Deliveries
Postmen are not only responsible for delivering letters to letterboxes but also have to do door-to-door deliveries, which makes the workload extremely heavy.
To further add on to the trouble, door-to-door deliveries are made during office working hours, in which there will be many instances where the recipient isn’t at home to collect their parcel, making it easier to get lost.
Starting in August, a new delivery method will be put on trial.
There will be a separate team for door-to-door deliveries and deliveries will be extended to the evening, to increase the chances of the recipient being at home to safely receive their parcel.
This will also decrease the workload of postmen – if they’re less stressed, they’ll probably be more efficient as well.
Know Your Postman
This one’s the most interesting – you can now actually get to know the postman who’s usually responsible for delivering your items safely, which is different for every neighbourhood. Maybe you can even buy him some coffee.
This trial will be rolled out in Bukit Timah and Yishun first from July, where residents will receive a magnet with a QR code on it in, and they can scan it to see which postman serves their neighbourhood.
They will also be allowed to give feedback on the postman as a form of engagement, which is good for building a positive two-way relationship.
Mr Phang said, “The postman has always been key to the whole delivery system and part of the social fabric…and we would like to engage the community in a good way.”
Of course, some people may anyhow leave bad feedback if they’re not happy over trivial matters, but SingPost said it isn’t a reason not to try, and promised that they would look deeply into any possible issues that come up and review any work processes if so.
Replacing Of Letterbox Masterdoors
Letters will now be more secure with slam-shut masterdoors on letterboxes that will reduce the rate of human error in accidentally (or not) leaving the doors open.
While it is still pending regulatory approval, SingPost is hoping to replace over 60,000 of these letterboxes islandwide with the slam-shut masterdoors by September.
This means that letters left in letterboxes have a lesser chance of falling out because someone forgot to lock the doors.
Trackable Letterbox Deliveries
The option to track your mail to those letterboxes may also be available from October onwards if it is regulatory approved as well.
As of now, there is still a registered mail service available but this paid service is meant to further complement that and is less of a hassle for it doesn’t require any signature, for those who prefer convenience.
Technology And Automation Might Help
Future plans for SingPost also include possibly investing in technology and automation systems to help with the tiring mail sorting process, in which human error could cause deliveries to fail.
Although the cost may be high, Mr Phang believes that it will not be material in impacting business operations for the end goal is to improve on efficiency and productivity, making the postmen’s workload lighter and helping to address their struggles.
They will also be focusing on providing better training for new workers after older ones have begun to retire, and plan to attract more Singaporeans to join them for some of the new hires are foreigners.
Three Million In One Day
Mr Phang also spilt the interesting and frankly amazing fact that close to three million articles of mail are delivered every single day in SingPost, by a team of around 1,000 postal workers.
No wonder it’s so easy to lose track of every single article.
“There are 15,000 to 20,000 deliveries that are not successful for various reasons. While some of these are purely (on) SingPost, which we can address…The truth is, a vast majority of this is beyond our control,” he said, attributing 30-40% of the lost deliveries to wrong or incomplete addresses.
Other issues include sending mail to old letterboxes that are no longer secure, and illegible handwriting (this is why your mother told you to always write clearly, see la).
Mistakes Will Be Made
But of course, with a service as labour intensive as delivery, human error cannot be completely eliminated from the picture – they understand that and are seeking the understanding of Singaporeans as well.
Sympathising with postal workers, Mr Phang said that the job was one of the tougher things he’d done after he followed some of them in action, having to go through challenges such as the heat and thunderstorms.
“Will there be mistakes? In a labour intensive operation, there will always be mistakes,” said Mr Phang, who will continue to bring it down to a more acceptable level with the new implementations.
“The training, the onboarding of people, getting them up to speed; that will take a bit of time. I’ve been monitoring the metrics. There are early signs that things are improving… but give us time to be better,” he added.
Well, at least they’re trying to salvage their reputation and improve their services now… better late than never!
Here’s hoping the new CEO will lead SingPost to better heights and somewhat save the fate of delivery services in Singapore, so we can all sleep tight at night without wondering if our parcel’s been dumped into the sea somewhere.