I started work for Royal Mail back in the 80s as a counter clerk and quickly moved into a number of different customer service and sales roles, taking a keen interest in developing and deploying new solutions and designing new ways of working. I joined the Address Management Unit in February 2010 with responsibility for maintaining the Postcode Address File (PAF) and was tasked with carrying out a comprehensive overhaul of the way in which we license and manage the use of our data – subsequently I was appointed as director of the Address Management Unit in 2012.
Prior to the Address Management Unit, I’d been involved in a number of significant product and service improvement initiatives, but I’d have to say that two of my proudest achievements have been delivered during my time at the AMU.
Firstly, the successful launch of the redesigned and simplified new PAF licence in 2015 was a real highlight, involving a massive collaboration with just about everyone in the addressing industry from our regulator to our largest and smallest customers. Secondly, the finalising and deployment of the Government Public Sector Licence in 2014 was a major achievement and took almost five years to land.
I don’t really have an individual role model, I tend to admire and learn from successful organisations, like Apple and Amazon, that work hard to maintain their quality and their reputation while continuously innovating for their customers.
2019 was a very good year for us in the AMU; we delivered against all of our objectives and expect this to continue this year.
I anticipate that many of the same themes we’ve seen in the past few years will continue to be the areas of focus; primarily speed and accuracy of data capture and supply, and the identification of new data sources and how to successfully productionise and commercialise them. Equally, I think there will still be a major challenge around how to work within GDPR guidelines and to maximise data potential.
From our perspective, in the AMU we see a growing requirement for more detail around properties and their unique physical characteristics (type of property means of access etc). Additionally, we see a heightened demand for faster real-time updates on changes to addresses or properties and the potential need that many organisations might have for speedier levels of change verification.
For Royal Mail and many of our customers and partners it’s often about the challenge of aligning the cost of implementing technical changes with the pace of deployment and the actual delivery of benefits to customers and the organisation. The other major factor in driving the implementation of a digital strategy is the need to ensure that the journey to deployment recognises how to engage and involve both employees and customers in a phased and integrated way.