PostNL en Deloitte team up in becoming an Insight Driven Organization

Case study

PostNL and Deloitte team up in becoming an Insight Driven Organization

Monitoring change adoption is crucial when implementing new technology

In 2014, the Dutch mail and parcel delivery company PostNL wanted to change its distribution model to a more insight driven model. To achieve this, PostNL partnered up with Deloitte. Together they developed an app for their 22,000 deliverers called ‘My Work’. Deloitte also helped implementing the app by analysing the workforce and advising on specific change management interventions to stimulate the employees to start using the prize-winning app.

PostNL wants to be an Insight Driven Organisation: an organisation that uses data in all elements of their business to make better, and fact-based, decisions. They have good reasons to want that: IDO’s operate more efficiently, stay ahead of their competition and are more innovative. In 2014 the distribution model of PostNL underwent a major change. The company then started working with depots, which meant that the deliverers did not meet each other any more at a branch, or in the company canteen, meaning that their ties to the company were looser than before. At that moment, PostNL had 22,000 deliverers, working from 2,000 locations.

The challenge for PostNL in this new distribution model was to make sure these thousands of deliverers still felt connected to the company. "Some of our deliverers are students, others are stay-at-home mums or retirees. They work about 3 hours a day and they don’t see their colleagues daily so their work at PostNL is only a small part of their lives. Nevertheless, we want them closely connected to our company and we’d thought technology and innovation could help us realise that", Arco Strop, manager business technology at PostNL, explains.

Developing an app

Together with Deloitte, PostNL developed the app ‘My work’, which the delivery workforce can install on their smartphone. There they can find their schedule, or ask for a leave of absence. The app helps the deliverers plan their route and deliverers can read and make notifications of special events. The app can also be used for scanning mail and packages for the purpose of track and trace.

The app fulfills three data-driven functions that are highly profitable: first of all it is a tool for keeping the delivery workforce satisfied, because they can do their work more efficiently, secondly it helps the organisation to save costs because of this improved efficiency and thirdly it helps the organisation to improve the quality of their services. A fourth goal was that the app could be used to innovate and to investigate new business opportunities.

Change adoption

Maybe more important than the actual development of a platform like this, is thinking about change management. According to our own research, the number one reason for new IT implementations to fail is resistance amongst the workforce. So how do you make sure that your employees actually start using the tool you developed for them?

"At first, downloading and using the app was on a voluntary basis", Strop says. "Most of the components of the app were also available through a regular browser, so that people did not necessarily had to use their smartphone. However, the track and trace module, which was an important part of improving our services, could only be used on a smartphone. So we had to think about how we could motivate the workforce start using the app."

For change management challenges like this, Deloitte developed the Change Adoption Profiler (CAP). This scientifically based and data-driven method is based on the notion that each employee responds differently to change--which means that a one-size-fits-all change management approach won’t work. Based on a questionnaire among the workforce, CAP provides insights into your organisation’s change readiness and identifies different “change profiles” with specific needs. There are for example the Frontrunners, people who adapt more easily, and there are the Traditionals, who have a more wait-and-see attitude.

Different types of persons

"By using the Change Adoption Profiler we could see what personality type was predominant in teams", Strop explains. "Together with Deloitte we then determined what kind of intervention was appropriate; they used their change management expertise, our input was the knowledge of our business."

CAP found for example that in certain teams there was a relatively large group of so-called passive profiles: people who are unlikely to voice their opinion. Based on this notion, the respective teamleaders were made aware of these profiles and they were encouraged to have more informal one-on-one work meetings.

CAP also found that in one region there was a relatively large number of Traditionals. For this region, Deloitte and PostNL developed an intervention in which there were more meetings in small groups, team leaders approached their teams more as and results were discussed every week.

To assess the effectiveness of using CAP compared to not using a method like this, PostNL compared a CAP group and a control group. The difference was significant: the CAP intervention group showed a significant larger increase in usage of the app throughout the pilot, compared to the control group. Currently, Strop and his colleagues are thinking about the wider implementation of CAP.

"In change programs like this, we were used to work based on a one-size-fits-all approach", Strop says. "The beauty of the Change Adoption Profiler is that we can use it to turn something soft like change management into clear and measurable factors. This helps us to get better results and it fits within our organisation: we are used to working performance-based with kpi’s."

Using CAP also helps fulfilling one of the goals of the app: improving employee satisfaction. Most of the employees respond positively to using the app. "It maybe sounds like a platitude, but if people are approached in a way that fits to the type of person they are, they feel better", says Strop.

New business opportunities

Completely in line with the fourth goal of the app PostNL is now implementing different pilots to assess whether it can be used to create new business opportunities. "Since we have to deal with declining volumes when it comes to mail, we have to look for other ways to stay relevant", Strop explains. In one of the pilots some deliverers can use the app to also fill in their water meter readings, in another they can make pictures and notify PostNL’s client when there is something wrong in the public space and in a third pilot, the deliverers record surveys among elderly people about loneliness.

The app drew much attention to the field of logistics. In 2015 it won a Postal Technology Award for ‘last mile delivery innovation of the year’ and more recently the app won a Dutch Interactive Award in the category ‘Communities’.

"CAP and the app help us to work in more data-driven way. This means that we can deploy our resources much more effectively, be more cost efficient and improve the quality of our services", Strop concludes. "Deloitte’s experience in huge IT projects and change management combined with our knowledge of our business helped us to take yet another huge step towards becoming an Insight Driven Organisation."

More information

  • Do you want to know more about Insight Driven Organisations? Please contact Stefan van Duin via 31612344457 
  • Do you want to know more about the Change Adoption Profiler (CAP)? Please contact Marjolein Vlaming via 31882883869
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