Postmaster event 2021

Postmaster event 2021

Summary of updates from our Postmaster event held on 7 October.

Progress on our six priorities: 

Strengthening the Network 

  • The first Drop & Collect branch will be launched next month. This will use new technology as we begin to replace Horizon. We will continue to work closely with postmasters in the pilot areas, listening to their feedback. 

Growing Commercially 

  • In response to your comments during MDA2 consultation, we have increased remuneration rates for premium products; and extended transitional payments to April 2023 so that you can manage the changes knowing your remuneration will be at least the same, if not better, for the next 18 months. 
  • We have signed two new contracts with DPD and Amazon and some 600 branches are now live. 3,000 of you will benefit from these partnerships by Christmas.  
  • The Banking Framework 3 commercial offer was sent to all our partner banks at the end of June. The Framework should be concluded by December and will provide a further opportunity to consider how to help you improve your profitability.  
  • Our Save our Cash campaign has raised awareness of how important cash remains to many customers and businesses. Our Bank Hub trials - in Rochford, Essex and Cambuslang, Lanarkshire – are going well and have been extended.  
  • Through our new partnership with Yoti, customers can confirm their identity using EasyID. Some trials for branch identity services will begin in the coming months.  

Rebuilding Trust 

  • We supported the overturning of the majority of criminal convictions before the Court of Appeal. 
  • The Historical Shortfall Scheme is making payments to claimants. We are working closely with the now Statutory Inquiry to get to the bottom of what went wrong.  
  • We're making improvement to support you better. For example, a better balancing investigation and support process, including the introduction of a ‘Review or Dispute’ button on Horizon. 

Transforming IT 

  • We have announced our intent to migrate from Horizon to a cloud-based system by 2025. Over 170 of you are already involved in shaping the design of the new system.  
  • Work is underway to improve the current processes and give you access to data, with tools to help you be more effective. For example, enabling you to access data on branch transactions to self-investigate discrepancies before speaking to our support teams. 

Supporting Each Other 

  • All support colleagues have benefited from understanding your work in branch better through ‘Week in the Life of a Postmaster’ training. Supply Chain units have introduced Postmaster champions to help deliver the best possible service. Every help desk colleague has received ‘mindset training’ to put you first and serve you better. 
  • Over 300 branches have been visited so far through our Adopt an Area initiative - enabling colleagues to spend more time listening to you and taking action. In response to your feedback, we have published 23 'How to' videos - including help with remittances, cash declarations and reversals - the videos are available on Branch Hub.  
  • We’ve made it easier for you to raise issues via the ‘Feedback and Complaints’ function on Branch Hub. We are achieving better call waiting times in the Branch Support Centre and IT Service Desks with eleven additional advisers. 
  • If a discrepancy arises, we’ve made it quicker and easier for you to investigate using the new ‘Review or Dispute’ button on Horizon. A colleague from Post Office will then call you to discuss the discrepancy and begin investigating. 
  • Our Supply Chain team have also made improvements so you can now order Coin via Horizon, Branch Hub, or by phone. The two-tier transfer system has been removed from the Cash Management Contact Centre with all operators now able to support all types of queries – a simpler and quicker process.  
  • We have also published an updated Postmaster Support Guide.  We have also brought together the most frequently used guides into one place. This includes help with Equipment Troubleshooting and a Postmaster Guide to New Starters. 

Involving Postmasters  

  • Saf Ismail and Elliot Jacobs our two Postmaster Non-Executive Directors have now participated in three Board meetings and ensuring the Postmaster perspective influences our decision making. 
  • At senior leadership level we have recruited a serving Postmaster, Hithendra Cheetirala as Postmaster Director. Hithendra joins full time from next week. 
  • We have now launched a Postmaster engagement framework which provides an overview of how we want to work with Postmasters.