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Crossing borders

March 5, 2013

When, why and how was Asendia created, and what does it hope to achieve in the long term?
Asendia was officially launched in July 2012 and is a joint venture that combines the international cross-border mail activities of two of Europe's principal postal operators, La Poste and Swiss Post. With over 1,000 employees, Asendia is currently present on three continents: Europe, North America and Asia, and in over 25 locations in 15 countries.

Both La Poste and Swiss Post recognise the potential areas for growth and development within the market, in particular, that certain segments of the cross-border mail market are undergoing incredibly strong growth – e-commerce, catalogues and direct mail. They have had the foresight to develop products and services to respond to these changes, but the possibility of increasing this market potential through joint investment was a very attractive prospect.

La Poste and Swiss Post subsequently conducted a strategic review which confirmed that for both of us it was necessary to increase our critical size to maintain and strengthen our leading role in the market. Effectively united we now have a very powerful position in that marketplace.

By joining together we are now in an infinitely stronger position to respond to the increasing demand from new and existing customers for high quality, innovative end-to-end international solutions.

Our vision is to become the leading quality provider for B2C solutions for international mail, with dynamic upstream and downstream expertise for direct mail, catalogues, press and small goods.

What major milestones have you achieved since the group was created?
Since our launch we have been integrating our operations and combining the service portfolios of La Poste Global Mail and Swiss Post International. We have also recently announced new management Board members in each country that reflect the combined experience and extensive market knowledge of the two organisations. In the UK we are currently looking at the opportunity to combine our Mail and Distribution operations to implement synergies and streamline the operational processes.

How will the group's customers and employees benefit from the partnership between La Poste and Swiss Post?
Asendia customers will benefit from the shared knowledge and practical expertise of two leading global mail and logistics experts. This combined knowledge and expertise will enable customers to optimise the cost of mailing through customised, high quality and time-saving end-to-end solutions.

One of Asendia’s most exciting innovations to date is the development of B2C parcel solutions with integrated reverse logistics capability. We continue to invest in hybrid mail, technology that enables companies to effortlessly send out important documents (invoices, statements and general business communications) directly from their PC via the postal system. The advent of the digital age has given us the ability to enable customers’ bespoke mailing requirements to be both printed and delivered from business to the customer all on the same day.

With the advent of Asendia, we now have greater access to an extensive logistics network that will facilitate our customers’ worldwide entry to global markets.

Asendia as an employer is firmly devoted to advancing the personal development of all our employees. We believe that working within an experienced, large-scale organisation gives our employees vast scope for career advancement, either through developing their existing skills or by offering the opportunity to gain new ones.

What future plans does Asendia have – expansion into other areas around the world, additional partner companies, new products/services, etc.?
During 2013 Asendia will continue to further the successful progression towards full integration between La Poste and Swiss Post. Strategically, the organisation will aim towards further consolidating its position in its existing markets thus ensuring a continued high quality value added core business. At the same time, we will be looking at further external growth into new markets and across the value added services marketby means of acquisition or organic expansion.

Another exciting opportunity for Asendia is our continued expansion within the ever increasing e-commerce, distance selling, press & publishing and direct marketing industries. We aim to set the standard for quality, punctuality and reliability in international mail in all of these industries.

What are the current challenges facing the postal market at the moment?
One challenge is to alter the perception of the international mail market as ‘low value’. Historically the level of terminal dues was low and it was therefore possible for postal operators to sell at a low price. Asendia aims to challenge this perception, as we believe this service is of ‘high value’ to our customer and as such should not be ignored.

How can these be overcome?
Our aim is to fully inform our customers of the benefits to be gained by their business from a company and international mail distribution service that offers excellent service and innovation. Although price must always be a consideration, it is equally as important to look for a distributor that offers high quality, efficient and innovative solutions to all a company’s diverse distribution requirements.

How do you think the market will progress in the next 10-15 years and what new issues/challenges do you think will arise?
We have not yet seen the full potential of the distance selling market. Undoubtedly, increasing cross-border online sales and mobile technology will create further opportunities for international mail. Where both retailers and shoppers will judge postal operators is in their ability to offer an efficient, secure and reliable delivery and return solutions. A high level of flexibility within delivery times and pricing models will be expected, along with simplified customs and tax together with expert target group knowledge for better client relationship management.

There will remain a demand for international mail, whether it’s generated through the digitisation of business or via multi-channel marketing strategies that still require direct mail solutions. Press and publishers are also looking for an efficient, high quality delivery service to match its e-delivery.

There is an ever-increasing need for publishing to become more and more responsive and this gives Asendia a wonderful opportunity for expansion within this sector.

March 5, 2013

 

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