Applications that stunt digital transformation

Building your post-specific applications can stunt digital transformation

Posts Beware: Building your post-specific applications can stunt digital transformation Building your Post’s customer engagement

Posts Beware: Building your post-specific applications can stunt digital transformation

Building your Post’s customer engagement platform in-house is tempting. In theory, you have total control over the project and can customize your applications to suit your Post’s needs. In practice, you’re looking at a massive undertaking that can set your digital transformation efforts back by several years. 

The cost of building custom, proprietary applications

Building custom applications is no small feat. You need:

  • The industry clout to attract the best talent: Top tech professionals want to work at companies that give them opportunities to tackle challenging problems.
  • The money to pay top talent: Developers, data scientists, and cybersecurity professionals are wanted by multiple industries and paid steep salaries.
  • The culture to retain them: Even if your Post has the budget to hire a top-notch tech team, you need the culture and managers to retain them long enough to finish your project.

If you choose to outsource the development of your applications, that’ll cost you. Building a custom application can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $250,000, depending on the complexity of the project. For a large Post, that number will skew higher. 

What’s more, you have to multiply this cost by several applications. Posts need to develop the applications for mobile point of sale (POS) devices, pick-up, drop-off (PUDO) locations, self-serve kiosks, cross-border deliveries, and more. 

The time needed to build a tailored suite of applications 

Digital transformation will allow Posts to service customers on different channels, attract a younger demographic, and make themselves an integral part of the multi-billion-dollar e-commerce industry. It’ll also give Posts the power to make better decisions by using machine learning and AI to generate powerful insights from enterprise data from across their postal network.

Most Posts would like to enjoy these benefits sooner rather than later. But the average custom application takes six months to 2 years to build. And it could take even longer when you consider that Posts have multiple applications to build, across a national network, with a diverse group of stakeholders. 

Development teams have the technical skills, but lack domain knowledge of Posts

Another drawback of embarking on a build is the lack of domain knowledge among development teams. A Post may select a highly qualified software development company to create a custom enterprise solution, but this company will rely on the expertise of the Post to conduct a proper needs assessment. 

For example, the Post may have expertise on how to make deliveries, but not on how to translate these needs to an enterprise application, causing gaps in the final product.

Furthermore, Posts have to divert valuable internal resources towards project-managing the enterprise application’s development. This includes:

  • Conducting a comprehensive needs assessment 
  • Planning and designing the application architecture
  • Testing the final product

Buying a suite of applications tailor-made for Posts is the right business decision

Is this all to suggest that Posts don’t need a flexible, customized system? 

Not at all. 

Posts need an enterprise system that’s tailored to their business, but they shouldn’t have to break the bank and wait years to use one. Instead, they need to bring together the best of both worlds: the implementation speed of an off-the-shelf solution with the flexibility of a system built for Posts with further options to configure it.

Our latest eBook: To Buy or Build – What Posts Should Consider Before Implementing Their Next Customer Engagement Platform examines the build versus buy dilemma, weighs the pros and cons of both options, and details what Posts should look for in a tailored, off-the-shelf Post application. Download your copy today. 


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