Manual operations in the postal service have been singled out as one of the reason why the Malawi Posts Corporation (MPC) is failing to improved services to its customers especially those in the rural areas, Business News has learnt.
According to Kenyan-based consultant who was in the country, Thomas Senanji from E-post Strategy Consultant, MPC is missing a huge opportunity to tap into electronic services (e-services) because of continually depending on manual operations.
He said if e-services are fully adopted there are business opportunities that can help the MPC grow.
In his presentation delivered during the validation workshop of the Malawi National ePost Strategy in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Senanji said the traditional letter service is declining by 2 percent per annum largely due to electronic substitution; hence, the need to embrace electronic technology.
He said: “Manual operations will continue to hamper the growth of MPC and there is need to embrace e-technology. A number of potential market opportunities have been identified including bill payment for public utilities, agency banking on behalf of principal banks and even advertising products electronically on behalf of customers and many more.”
Senanji said since the e-technology initiatives will require investment in technology to be fully realized there was need to adopt and implement the e-post strategy as soon as possible.
“The anticipated National e-post strategy and action plan is aimed at guiding various stakeholders in automation of services and facilitate the strategy’s implementation by MPC and other stakeholders.
“From a strategic stand point, the main focus of the National e-Post Strategy (NEPS) is the creation of an enabling environment for the deployment of e-services over the postal infrastructure in Malawi and the restructuring of the MPC to respond to the changing operating environment,” he explained.
On his part, postmaster general Andrew Kumbatira said MPC is adopting technology and most of its transactions are done electronically. He said many Malawians are now ordering goods through its website.
“While letters are dwindling we are seeing an exponential growth in parcels and this is a sign that e-commerce if well embraced can help us grow further,” said Kumbatira.
The e-Post Strategy comprises a number of pillars including, creation of an enabling environment for a vibrant postal sector, restructuring of MPC, addressing the supply side of e-services and stimulating demand for ICT enabled postal services. n