NZ Post gets into support business

New Zealand Post is offering a new service via its national Courier Post link that is redefining the traditional role of the courier driver.

As a result of a 50-50 partnership between New Zealand Post and an Australian firm, Smack on Time, Courier Post drivers are being trained to provide basic technical support as well as deliver and collect parcels.

The concept, a first for this country, has been working successfully in Australia since 1991, when Smack on Time was established by managing director Alan Hawes, who had been running a courier firm from a small office over a dairy. "At the time I was investigating the opportunities for couriers other than with messaging delivery services. Now we provide technical courier services to all of the major banks in Australia," Hawes says.

Initially, Smack on Time worked in conjunction with Westpac in Australia, servicing and transporting its POS equipment.

According to Hawes, there are numerous opportunities for such a venture, which could be extended to hospitals, schools and even home users.

As well as servicing and swapping EFTPOS devices and terminals, Smack on Time technicians will be able to support peripherals, carry out system and software installations, and service equipment such as fax machines. Ideally, Smack on Time says the type of job it is geared up to handle should take no longer than 20 minutes.

Since its inception in April, about 10% of Courier Post's 300 drivers have volunteered to be included in the scheme. Chris Callen, New Zealand Post's distribution manager, says once the scheme is fully up and running, couriers will be able to provide a service nationwide within four hours of a call being logged.

Smack on Time is currently offering services in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

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