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Protecting Revenue at Royal Mail
Royal Mail is currently government-owned, and has been delivering postal services for the UK since 1635. Just imagining the revenue streams passing through its operation – via stamps, meter machines and business accounts delivering 59 million items a day, to 29 million locations, 6 days a week – gives one pause for thought. I spoke with Adele Allen recently, head of the Revenue Management process at Royal Mail Finance, and asked her what she was doing to prepare Royal Mail’s finance processes for a future sell-off of the organisation.
It’s a challenge, Adele concedes. Her brief is to manage the revenue process end-to-end and to ensure business customers are billed correctly. She’s also responsible for product development – i.e., evolving the various financial interactions by collaborating with customers. It’s the latter that has become a core factor for Adele as she works closely with her customers to promote simplicity across the Finance function. "If you make it too complicated, there’s a tendency for customers to move off and find a simpler solution elsewhere," she explains, highlighting a move away from the rather complex services that were being demanded of the Finance function just five years ago, towards simpler solutions.
Adele sees her role as pushing the boundaries in understanding what customers are doing. One of the challenges she is facing is that Royal Mail centralized all its Finance functions over 10 years ago. That was good for the business, she explains, but it meant that a lot of Finance’s "added value" was lost in rationalization. Adele is pushing hard to introduce a pro-active approach back into the Finance function, and shares some tips on how to kick off successful collaboration. The trick, she says, is to recognize that problems are "shared."
Listen to the interview.