The Group’s ‘expertise’ capital refers to the capabilities, experience and knowledge we’ve developed through operating nationwide networks, providing innovative systems and services, and delivering performance excellence. It also encompasses our ability to find and exploit new sources of competitive advantage.
The value of this expertise is ultimately determined by how well the Group responds to market conditions and customer requirements and expectations. Together, these powerful influences are changing our world – and in turn inspiring us to change the way we think, behave and work.
Preserving the value of our expertise capital
The Group has a rich resource of expertise based on decades of performance and a commitment to investing in our people and new products,
services and technology. It’s a resource that’s more critical to the business than ever, as
market forces and customer preferences steer us more deeply into the digital space.
This is an enormous challenge requiring us to transform our organisation from the one we’ve
been – essentially a distributor of products – to the organisation we need to become: a
digitally aware, highly responsive and consistently customer-centric enterprise known for
innovation and an in-depth understanding of customer needs.
Leading the charge is our ‘digital first’ strategy, an immense investment in personnel, money
and intellectual capital through which we aim to achieve a competitive advantage in the
mail, parcels and banking businesses. Delivering change on this scale is daunting but
exciting, and we’re already making progress.
Unfortunately technical challenges have delayed our plan to enhance our application programme
interfaces (APIs) for offshore merchants selling products online and sending them to New
Zealand addresses. These APIs integrate our shipping technology with the merchants’ systems,
and currently allow them to get accurate shipping prices and produce labels for goods based
on those prices. We’re still working to deliver a full purchase-to-fulfilment process that
includes real-time shipping and delivery information.
Building a digital bank
Kiwibank has launched a major programme to build its digital capabilities, based on a state-of-the-art IT system and a new and refocused
organisational structure. The programme will initially
focus on enabling online and device-triggered banking transactions, and extend to cover the
suite of lending, investment and insurance services. The aim is to ensure that, whether
they’re online, in branch or on the phone, customers get the world-class service they expect
from a bank.
Making information-sharing easy
During the year we launched ‘Connect’ (www.connect.co.nz), a secure online data and document
vault in which people gather and organise important information and share it with
organisations they choose to connect with.
The service has been successfully implemented by StudyLink, enabling students applying for
loans to share their key documents online. It’s made a complex process simple and delivered
cost and time savings for StudyLink. What’s more, word is spreading: a number of other
organisations with similar issues have been in touch to
In October we extended our YouShop service to one of the world’s biggest online markets:
China. Kiwis can now buy from Chinese merchants who don’t ship to New Zealand simply by
using YouShop’s Chinese delivery address and parcel-forwarding service. Businesses also
benefit, as this offers an alternative shipping method for importing small quantities of
product for resale or samples before buying in bulk.
In another development, YouShop in Europe and the United States has introduced parcel
consolidation, a new service in which customers can consolidate up to 10 parcels bought from
different retailers. We repack them into a single parcel and dispatch them to New Zealand,
all for a single shipping cost. While this initially means reduced revenue for the Group, we
expect it to encourage more repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations, as well as
reduced network costs.
As at 30 June there were approximately 140,000 registered YouShop users. Our
challenge is to understand and use the associated data we receive to identify opportunities
to grow the service as an easy way to access brands and product variety that are simply unavailable in New
Taking businesses to China
To help Kiwi businesses capture a share of the fast-growing Chinese online shopping market
we’ve set up an ‘online storefront’ for New Zealand businesses keen to enter the Chinese
Part of the Alibaba Group’s hugely popular Tmall Global website (China’s largest online
marketplace), the store enables Kiwi businesses to showcase their products to
an estimated 361 million Chinese online shoppers, at much lower cost and complexity than
doing it on their own.
Our expertise in supply chain management means these Kiwi businesses’ products reach
Chinese buyers quickly and efficiently. The site is already providing market access to more
than 10 Kiwi brands and it is expected to accommodate 50 Kiwi retail brands by mid-2016.
Enhancing the value of our expertise capital
We’ve been part of the New Zealand community for more than 170 years. We want to stay that way, but we need to do this in a way that
enables our customers to interact with us via the digital channels they are increasingly
preferring to use.
In the next 12 months we’ll be investing more in the technology and expertise we need to lift
our digital profile and transform our organisational headspace, a move away from physical
transactions to operating in the cloud.