Postmen and women will be equipped with new BT handsets from next year
Royal Mail has announced a major investment in handheld technology which it says will help streamline the traditional Christmas rush.
The delivery service has signed a £130m deal with BT Global Services for the provision of 76,000 next generation hand-held devices over the next five years. These will be distributed to postmen and women around the country from next year, and will provide more flexible delivery options as well as better tracking capabilities.
Under the terms of the deal, BT Global Services will work with Royal Mail to decide which devices will be the most useful for its staff, with the contract also covering the day-to-day management of the current and new devices and operating platform for a five-year period.
“We are delighted to announce our investment of around £130 million in IT which will better enable us to develop new services for parcels customers,” said Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels.
“This is part of our on-going programme to continue to respond to the needs of our customers and maintain our leading position in the UK parcels market.”
The two organisations have a history of working together, as BT also currently provides the Royal Mail’s mobile connectivity under a separate contract.
The deal forms part of Royal Mail’s IT investment push as it looks to stay competitive against other delivery firms. Earlier this year, it launched a new parcels shipping and tracking platform to enable e-retailers to improve integration between their IT systems and Royal Mail.
And during the summer, Royal Mail also introduced its Local Collect ‘click and collect’ service with Post Offices available to its 20,000 SME contract customers. This enables many of the UK’s leading small and medium size online businesses to offer shoppers the option of collection from any of 10,500 Post Office branches.
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