So, how will Tom be impacted by the scanning of the outbound logistics?

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Tom, the postman that delivers letters to our street always seems to be happy and full of the joys of life. Whether it’s the middle of a cold and wet winter or during a hot summer (admittedly in the UK we don’t get a lot of hot summers but that’s another story!) he’s always smiling and ready for a quick chat.

I wonder whether he knows though that he is in fact part of the “Outbound logistics” of the Royal Mail’s Value Chain.  Value Chain Analysis is a model by Michael Porter and provides a “bird’s eye view” of a business.

The postal service in Finland has recently announced that they will be running a trial where individuals can sign up for a pilot programme which would allow the postal service themselves will open the individual’s letters, scan them and then store them electronically on a password protected  electronic mailbox.

Individuals who use this service will then be sent a text message or email telling them that they have received mail and they can then log on and decide whether the mail item should be shredded or sent to them via the postal system.

This is a novel way of changing the outbound logistics of the value chain. As well as potential costs savings for the postal service in terms of transport costs it would certainly enable people to reduce the amount of junk mail that they received.

There will be obvious issues to address such as confidentiality when the letters are opened and scanned but this is certainly a pilot programme which will be worth watching to see how it develops.

I mentioned to Tom about the pilot programme in Finland and he didn’t seem at all bothered by it – his view was that he’s getting older so the less junk mail he carries the better it would be for him!

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