In brief

In brief

  • Stephen Agar, Managing Director of Letters at Royal Mail, shares his thoughts on the changing nature of the postal business.
  • Stephen highlights how adapting to a competitive market and adding value with new technology is transforming the post and parcel industry.
  • This interview is part of a series of perspectives from industry leaders, addressing the most pressing challenges and exciting opportunities they see today.


How is your core business transforming?

There are big challenges about transforming to become more efficient and adapting to a more competitive market. You know, we have been delivering the same letters in the same sort of model for probably a couple of hundred years, so trying to transform that is quite difficult because it is such an old-fashioned business in a sense.

How are you applying new technology?

Parcel businesses the world over have been tracking, barcoding, adding lots of value to the basic service. Letters have been traditionally dumb, so for me the most exciting technology is to take that learning from parcels, apply it to letters, actually add the value to the sending customer but also to the receiving customer. So, with a barcode you can embed other images, you can embed video, you can generate a text message to say you are going to get your bank statement in the morning and you are overdrawn can you please do something about it.

There are lots of ways that you can use digital technology with letters to trigger digital responses, so it is bringing the two together and that is quite exciting.

Stephen Agar

Managing Director – Letters at Royal Mail

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