Thailand Post banks on digital sea change
State enterprise to upgrade IT, fleet
Thailand Post has embarked on digital transformation in a quest to modernise its postal and delivery services in a more competitive market.
"A transformation is needed in order to fight back against the influx of no-frills messenger service apps and international courier and parcel delivery service providers, as well as to create sustainable revenue growth," said president Samorn Terdthampiboon.
Its transformation is expected to be completed by 2018 after it commenced late last year, she said.
The state enterprise plans to spend at least 3 billion baht a year during 2016-18 on upgrading its core automation systems and distribution centres, including fleet vehicles.
"We must move towards digital in a bid to enhance our services and maintain our leadership in a market facing fierce competition from new foreign players," said Mrs Samorn.
Thailand Post this year will implement a digital transformation programme in five core areas: products and services, operations, infrastructure, communications, and mindset of staff.
To boost service innovation and meet consumers' digital lifestyle, Mrs Samorn said Thailand Post will expand its PromptPost service, a pre-registration mobile app for high volume deliveries, across the country this year after launching the service in Bangkok and adjacent provinces last year.
PromptPost helps users reduce parcel processing time if they use its semi-automated processing counters.
She said Thailand Post this year plans to introduce a new delivery process through a postal ID system on a trial basis in Bangkok, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chon Buri.
Although postal ID is more complicated than the current postal code, Mrs Samorn said the system would make it easier for Thailand Post to sort and send mail in a shorter time.
More than 7 million households have so far registered for postal ID through Thailand Post's website in November last year when they registered for postcards featuring portraits of the late King.
"We expect to implement the postal ID system across the country over the next five years," Mrs Samorn said.
Thailand Post reported net profit of 3.5 billion baht on consolidated revenue of 25 billion baht in 2016, up from 22 billion in 2015.
It projects revenue of 26.9 billion baht with a net profit of 3.3 billion baht in 2017.
Mrs Samorn attributed last year's high net profit to substantial sales of high-margin postcards from the Euro 2016 football final.
Revenue from parcel delivery service including express mail service (EMS) in the first half of 2016 accounted for 48% of the total, followed by communication services such as postcards at 43%, retail business at 5% and payment counter service at 3%.
Thailand Post has 24,000 staff nationwide and has no plan to recruit more employees, said Mrs Samorn.
Although the e-commerce market could boost Thailand Post's EMS and parcel delivery service revenue, the booming market has also attracted more foreign players leading to intense competition.