“La Poste is in some way involved in every activity in France.”
You decided to fast-track the creation of the strategic plan that aims to transform Le Groupe La Poste from top to bottom. Why?
Since 2013, Le Groupe La Poste’s business model has been challenged in a way that threatens future development. Our results highlight a paradox: on the one hand, our net profits are up thanks to the French tax credit for competitiveness and jobs (CICE); on the other hand, our operating profits are under sustainable downwards pressure, and we must go into debt to pay a dividend to our shareholders. The main cause for the Group’s dwindling profitability is the drop in activity in our traditional business lines (Mail and La Poste Network).
Deliveries fell from 18 billion addressed mail items in 2008 to 13 billion in 2013, and by 2020 it will probably be 9 billion items.
While our operating profits are still in the green, Le Groupe La Poste’s traditional business model is no longer viable in the long term. It is imperative that we address this before it is too late, which is precisely the aim of our strategic plan, “La Poste : conquering the future”.
The strategic plan was put together with input from all Group stakeholders as part of an open, two-sided dialogue. Why?
Because La Poste is in some way involved in every activity in France. That meant hearing our stakeholders out was vital. Over 150,000 postal workers got involved in the participatory process we kicked off in spring 2013. They told us, “we need to work better together”, meaning they wanted Group unity. They told us: “We need to sell more, and smarter”, meaning they were financially realistic.
They told us: “We need more autonomy”, meaning they wanted to take on more responsibility. We talked a lot with elected representatives, who reaffirmed their attachment to our mail carriers, post offices and postal services.
We held energetic talks with the unions, we spoke about the strategic challenges ahead and we put the figures on the table.
The citizen conferences helped us better understand exactly what our customers expected.
They want us to get a move on, and they sent us the message that concerned me more than any other: La Poste no longer plays a central role in young people’s lives.