Make your voice heard at the Branch User Forum

Make your voice heard at the Branch User Forum

Would you like to join the Branch User Forum (BFU) to play an important part in helping Post Office to be the very best it can be for postmasters and our customers? 

The BUF meets regularly to provide direct input into Post Office’s operations. We plan to widen the membership of the BUF to create a pool of postmasters who will rotate with each other to attend meetings to get a wider range of ideas and opinions from different branches around the network. 

It’s also an opportunity to have your say about products, services and upcoming projects, provide your views, and get your feedback incorporated. The BUF’s achievements include helping to identify improvements and process changes which are better for postmasters and customers. Here are some of the biggest success stories to date:

  • Banking: inputted into planned changes to partner banking deposit and withdrawal transactions on Horizon, designed to help avoid potential miskeying errors, and the double keying and verification of online cash deposits.
  • Branch User Guide: the BUF reviewed and sense checked information on balancing, branch discrepancies and transaction corrections in our new guide to support postmasters and branch managers with the efficient, day-to-day running of a branch
  • Business improvements: based on BUF feedback, we now run pilots more widely to trial and test new ideas and products out in the network, making sure they are fit for purpose and easy for branch and customer use.
  • Communications: we asked the BUF to be a sounding board on how to best share operational plans with postmasters and which channels were most effective. As a result, we were able to improve the layout of communications on Horizon, and change the timings and volume of information postmasters receive.
  • IT: by raising issues in the BUF, we’ve been able to get investigations started and problems resolved – Horizon Help has been a particular success, with our direct input we have seen a reduction in the instances of the screen freezing.
  • Marketing: the BUF has reviewed previous marketing campaigns and provided input to help with the creation of our distinctive, ‘It’s Post Office Season’ Christmas campaign. BUF feedback also led to changes being incorporated into ‘Essentials’ leaflets, to make them clearer and more branch friendly.

‘We have a shared goal of making things better’

Postmaster John Shepherd who runs Gilberdyke Post Office, East Yorkshire, in our North of England region, is an existing member of the BUF. He said: "I applied to join the Branch User Forum when it was first advertised in Branch Focus. In the time I have been attending meetings, I have had the pleasure of contributing alongside colleagues from all types of Post Office branches and from all over the United Kingdom. 

“As a member of the Branch User Forum I have had the opportunity to influence new initiatives and developments. Not everything has gone smoothly such as the initial launch of ‘Drop and Go’, but we have worked alongside product managers and Post Office specialists to feedback branch users’ concerns and shape the way ahead. 

“At our last meeting, I was delighted to praise the Post Office communications team on listening and acting on a simple request. Many Postmasters plan around Trading Period dates and have found it very frustrating that they have always been published so late. This week they have been published for the next two years, which is a great improvement and assistance for planning. Thus is just a simple example of what the Branch User Forum can achieve. 

“Although the members of the Branch User Forum are from very different backgrounds with sometimes different viewpoints, I would say that all our opinions are equally valued and we have a shared goal of making things better for all of us working in branch. I have made some special friendships through attending the Branch User Forum and very much look forward to welcoming new members." 

Your voice and opinion matter
As part of our commitment to reset our relationship with postmasters, we’re changing the membership of the BUF, so it can serve both business and your needs more effectively, and is truly representative of all your branches in communities all over the UK. 

  • Are you dedicated to achieving progressive, positive change in the Post Office?
  • Would you like to offer constructive feedback on the issues that really matter to you and your branch, input into new projects and find solutions to business problems?
  • Can you canvass opinion from other postmasters and branches, listen to what they have to say and represent their views?
  • Are you able to commit to attending no more than 6 meetings per year (which usually last for around 4-5 hours) in either London or Chesterfield? 

It doesn’t matter if you have been with us for 2 days or 20 years, you all have something to offer and we want to hear what you have to say. Please complete and submit this questionnaire by this Friday, 20 March 2020, to tell us you think you should be a member, what you can bring to the table and why we should choose you.