While electronic communications may eventually reduce conventional paper-based mail, Information Communication Technology (ICT) has offered significant opportunities for improved customer service and enhanced conventional communication products for better quality, and hybrid mail is just such a solution. BotswanaPost will launch this service on Thursday next week.
According to the BotswanaPost 2006/7 Financial Report, the chairman, Martin Makgatlhe, acknowledges that a modern mail processing plant, Hybrid Mail, was set up in Gaborone.
“This is one of the service enhancement products where customers shall no longer deal with large volumes of mail in their offices but can transfer electronic files to BotswanaPost for printing and processing, up to mail dispatch,” he explained.
In his statement, Keoagile Rafifing, the Public Relations Manager of BotswanaPost, stated that the service provider has established a hybrid Mail Unit (HMU), which creates opportunities for shorter delivery times, improved delivery rates as well as reduced labour and distribution costs to customers.
“The establishment of HMU is in line with one of BotswanaPost’s strategies to diversify its products and services, thus adding more value to the corporate clients,” he said.
Explaining the service processes, Rafifing said that Hybrid Mail is designed for organisations that need to mail large quantities of invoices, statements, and bulky time sensitive notices.
He said that the Hybrid mail provides high security and confidentiality as the BotswanaPost staff is bound by a secrecy clause in the contract of employment that forbids the disclosure of any confidential information.
“Our operations area is restricted to authorised personnel only. All computer systems are protected with passwords, so you can be sure that your data will be kept confidential whilst it is being processed,” he added
Apart from the fact that the process is both fast and efficient, which results in reduced time from processing to posting, Rafifing emphasized that the service also has more benefits and is ideal for corporate clients.
“The service reduces mailing production time and costs, no more printing, folding, inserting or enveloping, allowing personnel to focus on their functions. It also enables shorter delivery time due to direct lodgement with Postal Service Provider and printing at centres closet to delivery points,” he explained
Additionally, he noted that the service enables both printed and electronic distribution in one process, hence the elimination of mail collection, sorting and lodgement costs.
As part of the Strategic Plan called Pinagare, which spans the period 2006 to 2011, BotswanaPost has identified the ICT sector as one of the key areas that offers opportunities for diversification of product and service offerings while simultaneously generating increased revenues.
Hybrid mailing unit, through its processes, is expected to offer customers an end-to-end solution to their mailing communication needs. “The solution gives the customer an ability to get an extensive audit trail of the steps of which items were produced, printed, packaged and sent for delivery,” said Faith Rapuleng, BotswanaPost Public Relations Officer.
Rapuleng said the launch of the Hybrid Mail could not have come at a better time considering that pressure on the traditional mail products continues to decline and the performance on this group of products remains flat. However, she said a new trend of electronic purchases promises to breathe life into this line of services.
“As a Postal service provider, BotswanaPost is well placed to participate fully in the ICT sector while contributing to the achievement.”