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Postal Agencies Diversify To Fight Volume Decline, 24-Country Accenture Study Shows

Faced with a nearly 50-billion piece decline in global mail volume over the past three years, rising employee pension costs and increasing competition from private, commercial postal operators, the world’s postal agencies are fighting back by diversifying services and leveraging technology, according to a new study from Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

Achieving High Performance in the Postal Industry: Accenture Research and Insights 2013 identifies two new trends for the industry: digital mail has not reinvigorated postal agencies as originally expected and private postal operators have become more aggressive, creating greater competition for postal agencies in both the mail and parcel business. Postal agencies in 24 countries and two commercial companies – FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) – are included in the study.

“Despite a continued tumultuous business climate, some postal organizations are thriving. They are launching new business lines, combining their products with new technology and radically changing their cost structures to be leaner and more agile. As these posts reinvent their business models, they are emerging as very different organizations that are well positioned for future growth,” said Brody Buhler, managing director for Accenture’s global postal industry practice.

The 2013 research was presented at the European Postal Services Conference here. The 16 largest postal agencies included in the research represent nearly 75 percent of the world’s mail volume.

Since the publication of its first high performing posts report in 2006, Accenture has conducted ongoing, in-depth research of the postal industry. Using the Accenture High Performance Business methodology, Accenture has reviewed and assessed the relative performance of postal organizations. Starting with the postal systems of 16 countries and extending that research to include 24 posts and two commercial companies in 2013, the study gives a comprehensive review of what drives high performance in postal agencies.

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