The Barbados Postal Service must move beyond the traditional sale of postal stamps and delivering mail to ensure its survival and future relevance.
This was stressed by Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs Wilfred Abrahams while addressing postal workers yesterday as the BPS unveiled the first two electric vehicles for a rebranded Post Express Courier Service fleet.
He said the Barbados Postal Service in support of the Universal Postal Association’ Sustainable Development Project and the Government’s commitment to Barbados becoming 100 per cent renewable and a green small island state by the year 2030, was introducing the first two all-electric Post Express Courier Service delivery vans.
This is the first step to changing the 22-vehicle fleet to electric operation with updated branding.
Post Express Courier Services facilitates the collection of small packets and documents, whether a birthday card or legal document as well as documents for entities such as the US Embassy, UPS, the Immigration Department and the Barbados Licensing Departments.
Addressing postal workers assembled for the informal ceremony outside the Cheapside General Post Office Building, Abrahams said: “We need to make ourselves relevant. If we stick there we are going to die as a postal service.”
He added: “Our traditional operations, while not irrelevant now, are swiftly drifting in the direction of irrelevance. We can look at ways of re-imagining what we can do for Barbados.”
Government and Government departments need to consider themselves as businesses, Abrahams said, while reminding the postal workers that they were all service professionals in the business of service delivery, and needed “to act as such”.
“We need to figure out what our niche is and we need to deliver on that better than anyone else in Barbados can. That way the postal service and the Courier Express become the service of choice, not because it is cheaper…but because we provide the better service.”
The Barbados Postal Service celebrates 170 years of delivery of inland mail on April 15 and Abrahams noted the fastest growing area with which the service was currently engaged was in parcel and package delivery.
He said the reopening of postal services in 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic had caused a change in the way vital aspects of communication could be done, had also forced a shift away from delivery of letters, to the “immediate need for the collection and delivery of parcels”.
He advised the Barbados Postal Service could not refuse to adapt to such changing times.
In urging a change in postal workers’ attitude in the changing environment, Abrahams told the workers: “Our customers can never be a nuisance to us, because if they did not exist, we would not exist either. Every person to whom we provide a service is a valuable customer that pays your salaries, that funds the operation of this building, and helps us to keep the postal service alive.
“Rebrand yourselves with respect to your attitudes; with respect to your approach to your job; with respect to how you deal with your co-workers; with respect to how you speak about the Barbados Postal Service in the public.”
Acting Post Master General Joanne Busby said the BPS would continue to partner with other organisations “who have synergistic skills, strengths and expertise, in an effort to deliver a high quality service/ product to the citizens of Barbados”.