How do you transform from a mail carrier to an e-commerce pioneer?
Over the last two decades PostNL has faced the challenge of evolving from their role as a mail carrier to becoming a fully digitised logistics services provider. We have been their trusted partner every step of the way.
Strategic partnership since 2009
Automation of all core processes
User-friendly multichannel experience
It all adds up to this
Digital taking over from bricks and mortar
PostNL aimed to shut down many of its brick-and-mortar stores in 2014 and shift the focus to e-commerce, with a fully digitised shipping service for both mail and parcels. This meant the delivery chain had to serve PostNL customers in a different way. In close collaboration with their marketing team, we developed a roadmap for the automation of all the mail carriers' core processes.
We needed to take future evolution into account from the get-go. Whatever we developed had to have the future potential to be integrated seamlessly into an ecosystem that would extend far beyond the creation of a webshop.
From e-shop to shipping service
To smoothen the transition towards becoming an e-logistic provider, we started by building an e-shop where customers could easily prepare their shipment, print a label, and then drop their parcel off at a post office. Later, PostNL launched a new shipping service where the packages were not only delivered but also picked up from the customer's location.
This meant a complete rewrite for PostNL and its systems with the implementation of new services, many of which were not even in development at the time.
That's why we designed an open and future-proof architecture that could support the addition of any new processes, and that could disclose existing and new customer accounts to all clients in the ecosystem.
Because the legacy backend system would take much longer to adapt, we disconnected the frontend from the backend and created a new layer. This two-tier approach allowed us to develop the PostNL ecosystem at different speeds. On the new layer, services could be added quickly at any time, and the database of 6 million customer accounts was available to whichever client in the ecosystem needed them. At the same time, another team could work simultaneously on the more complex adaptations in the backend of the ecosystem.
"In a way, PostNL, at its core, is an IT-driven logistic provider. As their digital partner, we ensure their ecosystem is able to seamless, swiftly and securely manage vast amounts of data. And we ensure PostNL delivers all their users the best omnichannel customer experience."
Luuk Boschker, Software Architect, iO
Thanks to the successful switch of their services to ecommerce, PostNL was able to shut down its last bricks and mortar postal office without people really missing it.
On the contrary, by offering customers the convenience of ordering and shipping parcels from home or the office, they have increased customer satisfaction and expanded their customer base to no less than 6 million active accounts.
Today PostNL is the major mail carrier in the Netherlands and has also been branching out its logistics operations across Europe. PostNL keeps on improving their digital services offering their visitors a seamless and stress-free multichannel experience.
As their trusted partner, we offer strategic advice, co-create innovative solutions as well as implement the technology that will keep PostNL a leading logistic organisation, such as the upcoming migration of their website to a headless CMS.
The AWS Cloud as a foundation for scalability
As an AWS partner, iO helps PostNL to continuously evolve into a player that uses the power and security of the cloud as a foundation throughout the organisation. This way, it can properly cope with the large variation in load throughout the year and streamline IT in a standardised way to enable effective management.