Australia Post is the leading logistics and integrated services business in the country, with a proud history of over 200 years.
A Major Transformation Journey
Australia Post was going through a major transformation journey with changes impacting multiple streams of its operations. One of the foundation pillars in the transformation was to improve Australia Post’s support functions by removing friction points in internal processes to increase customer experience and employee engagement. To support this, Bevington Group was engaged to undertake an end-to-end review of billing and credit note processes to identify where things went wrong, and key opportunities to improve the billing experience for customers and staff.
A Bottom Up Approach was used to identify key issues
Bevington’s XeP3 methodology was used to capture bottom-up process data from 37 staff across teams in scope (representing 275 FTE). Over 2,100 activity steps were captured, and staff allocated time to each step to quantify the effort to support the current process. From this, 65% of process effort was characterised as non-value-add effort. Through analysis of NPS verbatim (from over 100 customers) and interviews with small and medium business customers, detailed feedback/insight on the customer billing experience were captured. In addition, analysis on credit note data and customer complaints was used to identify root causes of issues and other factors that impact timely and effective resolution.
The key issues found related to failure demand, poor information quality and visibility, unclear/fragmented responsibilities and accountabilities, and system and technology limitations.
Three key change imperatives were recommended to address the issues, including: make it simpler and easier for customers to understand and reconcile their bill; stop errors entering the process, or detect and address them early (pre-bill); and, improve resolution effectiveness and timeliness when errors do occur. Staff then participated in a number of collaborative idea generation sessions, during which a series of quick win / tactical solutions and strategic priorities were identified.
As an outcome, six workstreams were proposed to deliver the target state. These included:
- Customer self-service enablement to simplify billing information and support that is easy for customers to use, access and control
- Process, roles, and responsibilities to maximise first time right, and achieve fast and effective dispute resolution
- System enhancements and automation to ensure errors are prevented, detected early, and proactively managed
- Product and pricing policy that support simplified invoices and a reduction in disputes
- Operations and infrastructure that enables accurate and complete billing information
- Governance and reporting to monitor process health and drive continuous improvement
Australia Post begun delivering quick wins and implementing 22 initiatives based on Bevington’s recommendations. Implementation was supported by: a suite of new and improved metrics to monitor end-to-end process health and measure the program’s success; and, agreed transformation principles to ensure that billing issues can continue to be addressed as other strategic decisions were made across the business.