A Royal Mail apology accompanies their latest quality of service report which reveals only 72.6% of 1st Class mail was delivered on time against a target of 93%.
Royal Mail say that without the impact of industrial action they believe they would have achieved a similar level of performance to the last quarter where they missed their 1st Class target by -7.9% compared to -20.4% in the second quarter… In other words the service would still be failing to provide the Universal Service standard to customers even if there had been no strike action.
91.3% of 2nd Class post was delivered on time against a target of 98%, That’s -7.2% below target compared to -2.4% below in the first quarter.
In their press release, before the Royal Mail apology the company said:
Our focus is to restore our service to the high standards our customers expect to receive, and to seek an urgent end to our dispute with CWU and ongoing strike action. Royal Mail is currently in a period of intensive talks with CWU in an attempt to seek agreement on our latest pay for change offer and bring an end to the planned strikes.
To improve our Quality of Service it is vital that we modernise our network and ways of working so that we can more effectively manage the increasing volumes of parcels and declining volumes of letters. This includes continuing to put in place more dedicated parcel routes for the delivery of larger parcels.– Royal Mail
Dedicated parcel routes will likely be welcomed by all ecommerce retailers, but most of these are outside the scope of the Universal Service anyway, which focuses on 1st & 2nd Class and Special Delivery post. There is no visibility on how many parcels sent by other services is performing.
Royal Mail want customers to stick with them through the strikes (that’s highly unlikely to happen if further industrial action does take place over Black Friday and in the run up to Christmas), with COO Grant McPherson issuing the Royal Mail apology for disruption to service:
We’re sorry to any customers who may have been impacted by service levels during this period which are much lower than we would want as a result of CWU’s ongoing strike action. We are committed to improving our performance and accelerating Royal Mail’s transformation in order to restore service levels and meet the changing demands of our customers. As part of this transformation, we need to change the way we manage absences as well as gear our operations towards better managing larger parcels through our dedicated parcel routes.– Grant McPherson, Chief Operating Officer, Royal Mail
It’s worth noting that even this apology sticks it to the CWU a little, mentioning changes to sick pay. Royal Mail sick pay has been remarkably generous in the past and lowering sick pay rates is part of the changes the company want to push through.