Lions led by donkeys

At no point during the entire Network Transformation project does it

seem to have occurred to Government, POL, NFSP or individual

SPMRs how fragile the entire PO business is.

You would have thought that separation from RM would at least

have stirred the thought somewhere “hang on, do we really NEED

11,000+ outlets??”

Much of this absence of common sense can be laid at the feet of

local politicians too scared to acknowledge the reality of the need for

fewer branches, and other National politicians too stupid to

recognise that trusting POL to innovate, bring on board new

contracts, develop new products was just flying in the face of the

last 15 years experience of complacency and decline.

Sadly, we find ourselves like blacksmiths at the dawn of the

combustion engine.

Even more sadly, the restrictive (illegally restrictive??) nature of our

POL contract means that, whereas blacksmiths could adapt and

turn their hand to fixing cars, we just have to keep making

horseshoes – we can’t take on other couriers, we can’t even use

Paypoint for water and TV licensing.

And as nobody wants horseshoes, the price drops, and will keep on


Adaptation is the key to survival in fast changing circumstances, but

POL thinking is so hidebound, so blinkered, so unable to face the

future that we find ourselves in the position of WW1 soldiers; lions

led by donkeys. I often wonder whether Paula Vennells knows (or even cares) about the

despair that is spreading amongst SPMRs, as they watch the business they

have worked for years to build, being treated like a toy set by people

whose only concern is how much they can individually earn.

BT are by no means a perfect organisation, but they faced similar

threats and challenges head on by creating Openreach, to serve all

telecom companies whilst not fragmenting infrastructure ownership.

If POL had had any vision, they would have attempted something

similar, a PO network that would serve as a central hub for all

couriers, not just RM, and that would allow POs to price parcels

based on the lowest price to the customer, not just the lowest RM


This sort of approach would protect existing operators, retain the

skills that are so obviously lacking in new entrants and allow POL to

bargain with RM and all courier companies for a reasonable rate for

the job.

Instead, POL have wasted over £1 billion of public money

destroying the financial basis of the very network they are supposed

to protect, and ruined 11,000+ businesses into the bargain.

As a Convenience Store retailer, I choose what products I sell and at

what price. I sell ecigarette liquids, not snuff!

In the 21st century, how can any organisation like POL be allowed to

treat us like serfs, grateful for whatever crumbs they decide to throw

our way, whilst living high on the hog off our backs..


One thought on “Lions led by donkeys

  1. Well done I totally agree with your thoughts , We are totally undermined , unmotivated unappreciated, and we feel beaten, is that how you treat your staff. All the work we have put in our businesses diversifying and developing, what for? just to close down a couple of years later, what a waste of good money.


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