‘Collaboration’ was the overriding theme to arise from The Strategic Mailing Partnership’s (SMP) inaugural ‘Technical Summit’, which saw the Royal Mail come together with the UK’s mailing houses and Down Stream Access (DSA) operators for the first time ever.
The day-long event, which aimed to share learnings and create discussion around the safeguarding of the postal industry, has been hailed as a success by the organisers and applauded by attendees.
The sell-out Summit took place at Royal Mail’s Phoenix Centre in London on 2 March and brought together more than 80 key players in the postal industry – including a live panel debate, which saw DSA operators UK Mail, Whistl and Secured Mail share the stage to comment on key issues and answer questions from the audience.
Commenting on the success of the inaugural event, Judith Donovan CBE, Chair of the SMP, said:
“This is the first ever coming together of Royal Mail, the other carriers and the whole of the mailing houses and manufacturing sector since the market opening over 15 years ago.
“The attendance was a sell-out, the quality of debate of the highest and the spirt of cooperation amongst the best I have seen. The feeling on the day was one of collaboration and a shared desire to develop new products and new ways of working to ensure more investment in mail and create a prosperous future for the medium.
“I am delighted that the SMP has been the driving force behind what was a landmark event for the industry. Collaboration is the way forward for all of us and long may that reign!"
Steve Patrick, UK Mail added:
“This was an incredibly valuable, long overdue event. It is vital for the long term future of mail, beginning now, that the whole supply chain works together in a more collaborative way. The Technical Summit was a good start but we now need to implement the agreed actions and continue to work together to make customers aware of the real value of mail and encourage them to make greater use of it.”
Similarly, Andy Goddard of Whistl said:
“The SMP Summit was an excellent event and very well attended by the industry. Having the operators and the mail producers at the same event with Royal Mail discussing supply chain efficiencies was a massive step forward.”
The day-long event was opened by Royal Mail Chief Operating Officer, Sue Whalley, who presented the postal giant’s view of the current letter market, and also featured a talk on ‘growing mail together’ from managing director of MarketReach, Jonathan Harman.
As part of the event’s agenda to encourage cross-industry efforts and create collaboration between Royal Mail, mailing houses and DSA operators, SMP board members hosted a number of breakout sessions to debate key topics including product development planning and the role of incentives in direct mail.