Future Post

Shaping a fresh vision for Australia's largest retail network

  • strategy
  • retail
  • communities

We developed an innovative vision for the future of Australia Post by examining the purpose of the Post office and how its network of 4000 buildings would be used in the future. This included the role of the Post office, its function, design and how the stores could be utilised moving forward.

The role of the Post office is fundamentally shifting as the daily habits of Australians change and for probably the second time in history, the company is facing a paradigm shift. With the down trend of letters and paying bills in person making way for online shopping and Amazon fulfilment disrupting the way we do business, our job was to conduct research, deep dive into the issues and bring solutions to life for the marketing and customer experience team in a practical way.

In the last few years, Australia Post has conducted a world leading transformation to digital capability, from managing and tracking parcels, pickups, and click and collect, the organisation has evolved considerably. The new challenge was to outline how the bricks and mortar Post office stores would be used in the future.

Collaborating with Australia Post’s CX team, we led a comprehensive design research and strategy review, focusing on the role of the company’s network of over 4000 post offices spread around Australia. Rather than guessing what stakeholders think, we went out and talked to influencers and stakeholders in a process we call ‘Active Insights Generation’.

We travelled to regional and rural areas around Australia to talk to the local post offices about the difficulties of isolation.

We helped with interview outlines, questionnaires and lived amongst postal service officers and their customers. Speaking with people first hand and immersing ourselves in daily operations with a focus on Longreach in Queensland, we worked closely more than 100 individuals. We built an understanding of the key issues, fundamental expectations and objectives of the Post office and its people. We married the feedback of those in the front line with practical solutions.

Our field studies, combined with specialist market research, our methodologies and prototype capabilities along with a detailed survey of key stakeholder activities and insights, helped us gain a broad perspective of operational structure, company initiatives and business objectives. We gained a clear picture of how they feel they succeed and fail in both metropolitan and regional areas.

Following a series of stakeholder workshop sessions, we ran our findings through our design prototyping methodology. This helped us develop a thematic narrative that formed the basis for clear and detailed recommendations and pathways to success — an innovative vision for the future of Australia Post.

Our survey of the landscape provided valuable insights into where efforts should be focused over the next five years and we were able to recommend a number of viable and possible futures.

We used our strength in design and conducting the research, to then transition the data into advanced service design. We helped make things easier to understand and visualise. We used applied principles to deep dive into understanding the problems and then brought them to life in a way Australia Post’s management could demonstrate to their own internal stakeholders.

What we delivered

Our results were divided into three levels, we provided:

Meanwhile, we interviewed

90 customers
45 key stakeholders
45 post offices
45 workers
and travelled 10,000 km
We delivered a set of reports summarising what we recommended and why
Plus, three short films that helped demonstrate the post office of the future
One expert market study
With a clear view of the future for Australia Post