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2010年7月 9日 (金)

ゆうパック遅配 顧客第一の視点を忘れるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jul. 9, 2010)
Japan Post Service must put customers first
ゆうパック遅配 顧客第一の視点を忘れるな(7月8日付・読売社説)

If a door-to-door delivery company cannot deliver parcels to customers on the promised delivery day, it has little prospect of survival amid the fierce competition in the industry.

Major delivery delays have occurred in the operations of Yu-Pack, a nationwide home delivery service offered by Japan Post Group.

Japan Post Service Co. integrated its Yu-Pack program with the Pelican parcel delivery service of Nippon Express Co. on July 1. But mishaps involving the operation of newly introduced information processing terminals occurred frequently, due to employees' inexperience in using the devices, among other reasons. Since it is the summer gift-giving season, parcel deliveries were peaking, further complicating the problem.

Consequently, more than 300,000 parcels were delayed by periods ranging from 12 hours to more than two days. It took a full week for Japan Post Service to bring the situation almost under control.


Unforgivable blunder

This is a major blunder by a professional distributor that cannot be easily overlooked. Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi summoned Japan Post Service President Shinichi Nabekura to the ministry to express disappointment over the delays. Haraguchi demanded Nabekura submit a report outlining the hows and whys of the problem and specifying actions the company will take to improve the situation.

Japan Post Service must thoroughly investigate why these problems happened and take all necessary steps to prevent their recurrence.

Japan Post Service planned to catch and surpass Yamato Transport Co. and Sagawa Express Co., the two giants in the industry, by integrating Yu-Pack and Pelican services to boost earning capacity. Yet Japan Post Service's plan fell apart from the beginning.

Japan Post Service had stated that its preparations were more than sufficient. However, there is no question the company failed to properly train its employees in the new work process.

It has been reported that Japan Post Service proceeded with the July 1 integration, fully aware it was in a busy season, to speed streamlining of the deficit-plagued Pelican service. Thus, the company deserves criticism for lacking a "customer-first" perspective.

Japan Post Service management took lightly the problems that began on July 1 and did not even acknowledge them until Sunday. This attitude has resulted in the loss of consumer trust. It is important the company strictly examine where the blame lies as it assesses the problems. That will be the first step to enable the company to make a fresh start.


Establish stable system

Due to the delays, some catalog retailers were forced to change from using Yu-Pack to other home delivery services to send their goods to customers. The high degree of accuracy--delivering parcels to the minute--is the hallmark of the home delivery business.

To prevent customers from taking their business elsewhere, Japan Post Service must establish a stable collection and delivery system as soon as possible. It is also important the company take sincere steps to compensate customers for damages brought about by the delays, such as for the costs of parcel reshipment.

With the wide use of e-mail, the use of postcards and letters has decreased, causing dwindling revenue for the postal business. Amid this backdrop, we see no end to postal service-related scandals such as a large quantity of undelivered mail.

The Yu-Pack delays took place under these circumstances. Some analysts point out the problems might greatly damage the operations of Japan Post Service.

Not only Japan Post Service management, but all its employees, should be fully aware of their responsibility to unerringly operate the important distribution network and redouble efforts to tighten up their corporate discipline.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 8, 2010)
(2010年7月8日01時58分  読売新聞)


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