ZIMPOST has embarked on a US$5 million upgrading project aimed at modernising its business methods, Zimpost managing director Douglas Zimbango has said.
Report by Fidelity Mhlanga
The project, jointly funded by Zimpost and the Posts and Telecommunication Regulation Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz), would enable the company to introduce modern technologies such as front office automation, postal codes, hybrid mail service and an International Financial System (IFS).
According to Zimbango, Zimpost is set to move from manual systems to computer-based automated systems to leverage infrastructural investment to realise increased savings and use interface, combined with a single electronic platform leading to enhanced speed for transactions.
“We are automating customer service transactions – everything from selling mail services, retail services, bill payment and banking transaction,” Zimbango said.
The hybrid mail services have been designed mainly for organisations that mail large quantities of invoices, statements, time sensitive notices and business mail and would enable customers to send electronic mail that would be printed at delivery point.
This service would relieve companies of expensive tasks, such as printing, enveloping and transportation, and ensure an impressive appearance from advanced laser printing.
“The counter automation project pilot phase was rolled out, tested and passed at three pilot offices in the third quarter of 2012. Software development was completed and preparations to roll out to more offices are currently underway. By mid-year 50 offices will be online. Hybrid mail equipment specifications and site visits are now complete and work will go to tender by mid-February 2013,” Zimbango said.
The national address and postcode project would be of immense help to disaster management teams during times of floods and other natural disasters. Coding will involve having an alpha-numerical code to identify a specific address or location. It would also have geo-coordinates to assist location by various service providers like fire and ambulance services.
This project would benefit operators, consumers, the police, the health sector and other stakeholders.
“The national address and post code project is earmarked to commence in the first quarter of 2013. A feasibility study was undertaken with the initial pilot project expected to commence in Harare’s Mt Pleasant and Bulawayo’s Nkulumane Suburbs. Another pilot will run concurrently in Shamva North in order to understand the unique needs of the rural setting.”
These initiatives will assist Zimpost to compete effectively in the market through improved service delivery and also create new revenue streams to replace the slowmail business which is on the decline.