Australia’s leading metropolitan express parcel delivery service provider CouriersPlease has grown and transformed itself since it was founded in 1983. As any entrepreneur can attest, success isn’t always an easy, attainable goal.
However, CouriersPlease has found its unique way to success through strategic partnerships, technical innovation, adapting to changes and most importantly, customer centricity.
“Our business is all about satisfying the customer,” said CEO Brian Roberts, who is a veteran with more than 30 years of industry experience and knowledge, in a recent interview. Roberts discussed the company’s expansion strategies, detailing how CouriersPlease has built a name for itself to take advantage of the rapidly growing ecommerce logistics market. “It’s important to stay focused on what we do best: deliver excellent service to customers.”
It is in this way that CouriersPlease has managed to stay ahead of the competition throughout the years.
SingPost: turbocharging CouriersPlease
In December 2014, CouriersPlease was acquired by Quantium Solutions International (QSI), a wholly-owned a subsidiary of Singapore Post Ltd (SingPost). QSI specialises in eCommerce logistics and fulfillment services in the Asia Pacific. With an established network in 12 countries and access to over 220 countries/territories, QSI provides businesses with a comprehensive range of services to suit customers’ needs and budgets.
SingPost is the leading eCommerce logistics provider in Asia Pacific.
“With SingPost’s now fully-owning and supporting it, CouriersPlease has embarked on a number of initiatives, to take the high ground in the eCommerce logistics space. This includes the launch of new international products as well as domestic Air express and same-day metro services. These will make CouriersPlease a true full service parcel / express player. In addition, CouriersPlease is expanding regionally within Australia, working with partners like Hubbed who have a physical nationwide network.”
“These will help provide a wider product offering, superior service and additional delivery choices to our customers, as well as investing in a new suite of technology enable solutions,” said Roberts.
“We are rapidly expanding our domestic foot print, having recently opened new operations in Albury, Coffs Harbour and Cairns. We have also recently acquired facilities in Perth that will be ready to serve our customers from August 2015,” Roberts added.
CouriersPlease is known for its excellent metro and domestic road express services provided by the franchisees, and has developed a very loyal customer base, especially in the SME segment. With its new international and metro services, it will become a truly one-stop shop for their customers.
Firstly, the company has introduced a premium money back guarantee for same day metro services.
Secondly, it has launched an overnight Air Express product across Australia. CouriersPlease will enter the domestic Air Express market for the first time.
The company has also launched two international products:
• International air express, partnering with DHL to offer customers an express product to and from the world, and
• Economy international air express, partnering with QSI as the international arm and a fully owned subsidiary of SingPost.
Roberts said, “Now, all of our customers can get their domestic and international shipping needs dealt with by the same, very customer centric company.”
In June 2015, SingPost invested in Hubbed, a one-stop eCommerce aggregator that has built a network of some 680 newsagents to provide a parcel delivery service in every major city across Australia. Combined with this, CouriersPlease is fast tracking the deployment of POPStations, that are 24/7 parcel lockers.
Dr Sascha Hower, CEO of QSI, said, “We are pleased to be supporting CouriersPlease as it invests in the eCommerce logistics ecosystem in Australia. Ecommerce is all about having multichannels - for speed and getting parcels to customers at the times that suit them. People in Australia are busy and active, and working professionals won't be home during work hours to receive their parcels. We want to make their lives easier by offering them flexibility - through CouriersPlease, they enjoy a nationwide door-to-door delivery service across Australia. We are glad that we can help provide a significant enhancement in convenience and flexibility to customers in the expanding markets.”
Hower, who is also the Group COO of SingPost, further explained, “We are pleased to be supporting CouriersPlease as it invests in the eCommerce logistics ecosystem in Australia. We want to enable end-to-end solutions from warehousing to convenient touchpoints, flexible doorstep delivery and track and trace features. Our smart-lockers or POPStations provide customers with a physical drop-off / pick-up point as an additional option to the door-to-door delivery service which we currently provide.”
At present, there is a pilot PopStation unit available at CouriersPlease’s main depot located in Rosehill, Parramatta. Customers who have direct their parcels to the depot are able to collect their parcels from the POPStation anytime at their own convenience. SingPost has already rolled out over 100 PopStations all over the island state of Singapore. [Depending on timing of article: For its part, CouriersPlease is considering/planning a roll out of a parcel locker network.
Online shoppers can choose between direct door-door delivery, or shipment to the news agency network which is open typically from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. Alternatively it could also be directed to a POPStation which is available for collection around the clock seven days a week. In addition to 1st delivery, redeliveries, POPStationscan be used for parcel returns, posting of parcels and has many distinctive features including 'air unlock' using the POPStations application. Hubbed also intends to launch more parcel products through its outlets in the near future.
Getting innovative through SingPost’s technology
“With all its service innovations, the technology backbone is critical. SingPost has been on a technology transformation path for many years and we are able to implement their state-of-the-art technology solutions to further enhance our systems and gear up for the future,” Roberts added.
CouriersPlease is implementing SingPost technology solutions that include their next generation operations system coupled with Android mobile phone technology for its franchisees – the solution has also recently won the CIO Innovation Award 2015 presented by CIO Asia. Some of the features in the new system include API integration with third party vendors, guided flow of parcels, tracking across borders, multilingual capabilities, integration with parcel lockers, among others. It has also launched a brand new website in August with a range of new features, such as sending and receiving of parcels on a single system within Australia and Worldwide, user-friendly tracking capabilities as well as an accessible and easy to use booking process.
“This really enhances the overall customer experience while improving our operational efficiency,” said Roberts.
But it’s not just technological advances that aid in meeting this target—it’s also ensuring that the right team is in place for the task at hand.
“In our business, it’s definitely critical to get the right people and then to motivate them and develop them. We have good people from the industry knocking on our doors to join us. To me, this is the sign that we are on the right path,” Roberts added.
The importance of change for the future
CourierPlease’s ability to evolve not only makes it stand out from other companies in the industry, but it gives the company a firm foothold for the future.
“We are an organization that embraces change and thrives on it,” said Roberts.
For the future, CouriersPlease is aiming to be the exceptional leader in eCommerce by delivering the best customer experience.
Roberts added, “Specifically, the company plans to be the preferred supplier of choice—whether ordering takes place out of the United States, the United Kingdom, China or Australia. With the growing importance of eCommerce and the consumer / B2C market, many companies face a pain point with customers not available at the point of delivery. CouriersPlease wants to provide the solution to this.”