Voted one of the country’s top three most trusted brands, the Post Office, with a network of thousands of branches in villages, towns and cities across the country, occupies a special place in the life of Britain. But established in 1660, what is required to meet the challenges of the modern age?
A government owned business, the Post Office, has the largest portfolio of retail and financial services branches in the UK. This network was also in the process of major change having begun a £2bn investment to revamp its brand.
It also needed to be fit for the future. And this future could potentially include becoming a mutual, passing ownership into the hands of consumers and stakeholders following government discussions in 2011.
For that to happen the organisation had to ensure it would be commercially viable. It had to develop a strategy that could achieve commercial success while operating in some of the UK’s most competitive sectors, including financial services and parcel delivery all the while fulfilling a crucial social function.
This required significant new thinking, challenge and decision making and the senior team determined that an external facilitator could create this dynamic interaction.
Interim executive, David Ryan, a transformational change expert, stepped in to the Post Office in April 2014 with a year to design the transformation process. Having previously worked on a number of high profile engagements , as well as a decade at PwC advising on financial services organisations, David brought not only 27 years of experience to the assignment but a highly structured approach.
The project unfolded in four parts. Firstly, David worked to single out the “key levers of change” that would be used to achieve the Post Office’s core objectives. The next step was to gather the data necessary for a clear understanding of its finances and resources. A transformation plan was then drafted showing how the Post Office’s commercial operations would need to be reconfigured. Lastly, David worked on what he refers to as “creating value through change”. At the heart of this was an effort to find short-term savings that would send a signal that the organisation was “serious” about transforming and would also fund the changes that were still to come.
“That’s how you ensure you are not just talking about conceptual things,” says David. “You start to realise value every day, every week and every quarter while you’re also working out the long-term plan.”
David’s efforts produced a number of results. Firstly, the Post Office received a clear design describing what the organisation would look like once the transformation programme was complete.
Along with that came a detailed roadmap charting the changes that would be necessary. That was accompanied by a financial profile describing what would happen to key measures once the plan was delivered.
David also produced £60m of savings and recruited a full-time transformation director to push ahead with the rest of the plan.
“It was a super group of people to work with who were hugely committed to the organisation, always welcoming and ready to go the extra mile in helping us with the assignment,” says David.
The search for the interim transformational expert was conducted by Impact Executives. “Dealing with Impact Executives was very straight forward, efficient and professional,” he says. “The team there is very effective and we met regularly throughout the assignment which provided me with an opportunity to discuss the work and great support.”
Interim Executive Profile
Key to David’s appointment was almost thirty years served as a transformational leader as well as expertise in both financial and business services. . He joined the Post Office following work with KPMG advising financial services firms and prior to that delivered the turnaround of one of the UK’s leading parcel delivery businesses. David’s past experience also includes running change programmes at The Co-Operative Bank and Virgin Money. Among his many other roles was ten years with the global professional services firm PwC where he was a director in the financial services consulting practice, specialising in M&A integration and business transformation.
The Post Office
With 11,600 branches the Post Office is Europe’s largest retail network boasting more outlets than all the UK’s banks and building societies put together. The Post Office handles 17 million customer interactions each week and in 2015 booked annual turnover of £976m.
In 2012 the Post Office became independent of Royal Mail, which listed on the London Stock Exchange the following year. The two businesses have a ten-year working agreement allowing the Post Office to continue selling stamps as well as handling letters and parcels.
About Impact Executives Ltd Impact Executives is a leading interim management provider to organisations of every size in the UK and globally. Originally formed as a specialist practice within PA Consulting Group, over the past 25 years Impact Executives has helped over 2000 companies, including more than two-thirds of the FTSE 250 – find the very best executive interim management talent. Clients choose to work in partnership with Impact Executives because of our proven ability to offer clients immediate solutions to improve their organisation’s performance.
With offices covering the UK, continental Europe, Nordics, Asia Pacific and Australia, Impact Executives is part of the global services consultancy Harvey Nash Group plc, giving clients and interim managers the confidence that we have the resources, expertise and focus to deliver results – fast.
For further information on Impact Executives, please contact Vicki Ludlow, Impact Executives, Tel: 0044 20 7314 2011 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org