Postal future

Sketching the future of the postal market

Client: bpost

2010
By 2020, digital technology will impact all types of business transactions. It will be as normal, necessary and present as electricity or water. Given changing consumer needs and unparalleled technological possibilities, what should a postal company in 2020 look like? What is its mission in this world? Which products and services should a postal operator offer?

In 2010, bpost asked just these questions and commissioned us to conduct a Future Sketch to discover new opportunities and inspire management.

Approach

We decided on an approach which utilized strategy, design research and ideation methods:

  1. Future Sketch:
    1. Analysis of the overall postal market and bpost’s key assets
    2. Analysis of digital and consumer trends
  2. Defining a new mission statement
  3. Design Directions for new services

We started out with an analysis of the postal market based on data, research and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. In order to make sense of all this information, we mapped our insights in larger themes.

This gave us a clear, future-proof picture of the external environment as well as the internal environment. Merging the internal and external environments showed us new opportunities and led to a new (virtual) mission statement for bpost for 2020.

We defined a new role for bpost in the life of the empowered and connected customer.

Based on this new mission statement, we started an ideation exercise to come up with a variety of ideas for potential new services. A number of these ideas were visualized as screen prototypes.

Outcome

We presented a booklet and inspirational presentation to the executive committee, 40 senior managers and the innovation task force. A lively debate on digital transformation, disruption and innovation followed the presentation.

The result of our project was clear: it was a wake-up call for some, but for most it offered an overall umbrella vision for the many on-going innovation projects at bpost.

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