Client Spotlight

Royal Mail’s Collaboration with MRI OnLocation: Paving the Way to Million-Pound Savings

Royal Mail boasts a rich heritage spanning over five centuries, beginning as a postal service exclusively for the King and his Court to the international delivery service it is renowned for today.

An important element of Royal Mail’s strategic planning lies in the Economics and Statistical Forecasting (E&SF) team. Responsible for crafting macroeconomic assumptions which are crucial for business planning, the team monitors many diverse factors such as economic growth, inflation, and e-retail sales from fuel prices to inform their traffic forecasts. By leveraging sophisticated econometric models, they can delve into historical trends and geographical variations to inform business decision-making.

Over the last couple of years, Royal Mail have developed this modelling extensively but needed a regional view on footfall trends. The onset of the pandemic in 2020 marked a turning point for the Royal Mail. With a sharp decline in letter volumes, particularly advertising mail due to business closures, and a surge in domestic and international parcel deliveries, the need for granular, region-specific insights became paramount especially in terms of looking to the future post-pandemic.

Royal Mail were keen to understand patterns of mobility in the UK not just historically but also for the future and required a stable, accurate single source of truth. The team’s core objective is to provide the business with regular forecasts for traffic levels – for letters and parcels –to help inform operational planning and efficiencies in mind. By understanding differences in trends across the UK, the E&SF team can more appropriately inform their Operational planning colleagues of the future demand for letter and parcel volumes in order for them to better manage how many staff are required in delivery offices and mail centres, especially in the build-up to peak demand times such as Christmas.

Jonathan Pope, Economist at Royal Mail highlights the transformative impact of this partnership “Since working with the MRI OnLocation team we can not only deep dive into regional trends across the UK, but we can map your footfall counter locations to our closest delivery offices and plants, and look in detail at the footfall trends in specific regions. The bespoke aspect of your benchmarking is unique in the marketplace and allows us to interrogate the data in much more detail.”

The footfall data feeds into many econometric models at Royal Mail, allowing for forecasting to be done across many areas of the business which supports business planning initiatives. The Economics and Business Forecasting team commitment to investing in accurate and reliable data has paved the way to potentially yielding significant cost savings that, and couldthat could amount to many millions of pounds over time.

Royal Mail’s journey with MRI OnLocation highlights the power of data-driven decision making, driving the business towards growth in a landscape that is rapidly changing.

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