Firms abandon Royal Mail

15 October 2009

16 October 2009 | Allie Anderson

More than a third of buyers are considering ditching Royal Mail because of the threat of industrial action, according to the latest SM100 poll.

Of the buyers surveyed, 37 per cent said they were looking to switch postal supplier, fearing disrupted services. A number of purchasers said they had already abandoned Royal Mail, citing poor service and uncompetitive pricing.

Earlier this month, the Communication Workers Union announced that postal workers voted 76 per cent in favour of a national strike over job security and working conditions. Two 24-hour nationwide strikes are planned for today and tomorrow.

Bill Fyfe, procurement manager at the National Trust for Scotland, said the organisation saved £70,000 annually by switching from Royal Mail. John Milne, an oil and gas procurement specialist, said: "All monopolies are doomed to failure and only fair and honest competition will bring general improvements in service levels."

John Durrell, managing director at Associated Procurement, said: "It is clearly going to be an inconvenience at minimum. Reliability of service, underlying economics and maintaining competitive tension among suppliers are all factors to consider."

Many of the 63 per cent not looking to switch said they do not use mail services very often. For items normally distributed by post, including payslips and invoices, they are instead using email.

Tony Morris, principal business consultant at financial services company Coda, said he would not change vendors, adding: "Our postal service may be a procurement project in future but at the moment we would like to help preserve the UK heritage of Royal Mail."

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