The E-Parcels Group was created in 1996, in response to the wish of a group of nine postal operators from northern Europe to have a business-to-business parcel service which would provide their customers with a two-day parcel service. The service – which mainly uses a road network – is competitively priced, provides tracking based on barcodes, and sets standards for delivery and targets for responsiveness to customer service enquiries.
From 2000 onwards, the Group re-focused on e-business, sought to expand geographically and to support and increase its traffic volume.
EPG provides stable and reliable quality of service, meeting high performance standards. It is based on the following:
- a track-and-trace system;
- ongoing monitoring and reporting;
- a payment system based on performance, and
- an automated customer service system linking call centres.
EPG is directed by the EPG Steering Committee, which meets four times every year. An EPG project management team has day-to-day project responsibility and meets monthly. Dedicated working groups with experts dealing with operations, customer service, IT, and marketing meet as required.
IPC’s role in EPG
- Project management and development
IPC oversees adherence to the terms of the multilateral contracts signed by the EPG partners and manages the change process for amendments. IPC supports the Group in implementing changes and action plans, and following up on performance trends and on the status of the network and of the EPG project. By request of the members, and with their support, IPC works to expand the Group geographically and to assist in assessing the operational and technical capabilities of potential new members.
- Item Monitoring services
IPC’s Item Monitoring Services provide monthly performance reports, which the Group uses to determine performance against agreed standards and to calculate the level of intra-group payments due. These reports are expanded with special files listing all items’ details and the level of service performance the postal operator provided.
- Payment report
IPC sends a monthly payment report to all EPG project managers and accountants providing a quick and simple invoicing system. The reports provide performance results and show items which are subject to the agreed penalty system, in case the standards have not been met. IPC payment reports make it easy to invoice operators and verify invoices received from them.
- Operations network support
IPC continuously monitors the transport network used by EPG to ensure that it is operating efficiently and in line with the members’ operations transportation schedules. IPC reports any irregularities and provides platforms for discussion that address network improvements at a local level.
- Customer service
The IPC Global Customer Service System links all operators’ customer service call centres, allowing them to quickly handle customer queries. The system is designed around a set of formal response targets, and provides performance reports for each member on an actual response time.
- EPG Help Desk
A Help Desk service is available during IPC business hours to answer all information technology and customer service issues. As quality of service is constantly monitored by IPC, the EPG Operators are provided with data to help solve problems and improve quality whenever needed.