How does a business that is both government agency and subsidiary of a profit-demanding global corporate culture survive and thrive in the ever-competitive delivery marketplace?
Canada Post is meeting the challenge of its dual identity by transforming how it markets via improved customer relationship management (CRM).
With roots dating back to the 18th century, Crown Corporation's Canada Post is an Ottawa-based, government-owned $5.9 billion (Canadian) postal company that serves the country's 30 million individuals and more than 900,000 businesses and public institutions. The company's business of distributing some 10 billion messages and parcels is carried out by 63,000 full- and part-time employees through 25 major plants and other facilities, delivering to more than 13 addresses as well as through 20,000 retail outlets. In addition, Canada Post's global reach includes forwarding more than 37 million pounds of mail to foreign countries.
Despite its long history and deep market penetration, by the 1990s Canada Post faced increasing competition from aggressive independent carriers that were targeting specific business sectors. Also, the company lacked deep knowledge of its customers, tended to focus on technical processes to improve internal operations rather than address customers' needs, and offered products that were not appropriately priced. The resulting erosion in market share meant Canada Post had to act quickly to become more customer focused and create a more successful future.