The SMP board is a collection of elected SMP members who represent a number of different organisations within the printing industry. Their remit is to represent the wider SMP members within their businesses, to raise any concerns and work to find solutions for the benefit of all stakeholders across the sector.
Following the return of the annual SMP summit last year, the board identified a number of themes we want to focus on moving into 2022. As such, four subgroups were created, chaired by four different board members. The subgroups are:
The Mail Innovation Group (MIG)
Chaired by Tom Prestwich (Chief Customer Officer at Opus Trust Communications), this group provides a forum for ideas and innovations which promote and enhance the role and value of mail (direct and transactional) in customer communication.
Not only evaluating and proposing innovative ideas relating to products and processes, MIG also works to champion a framework which facilitates innovative ideas generation within organisations developing and deploying customer communications. As such, we hope to be an enabler for change as well as directly driving innovation through suggestions and ideas generated by SMP members.
MIG also acts in a consultative capacity for Royal Mail initiated innovation to ensure initiatives have industry support and relevance. As such, Paul Davison represents Royal Mail within the group to support. As a key part of driving innovation, MIG seeks to introduce young and innovative thinkers in our organisations to Royal Mail in a forum in which they can present ideas and innovations for review and discussion.
Group members: Simon Biltcliffe and Tom Oldershaw, both representing Webmart, Craig Glover from Adare SEC, Angus Campbell from Paragon CC, Kerry Holden from Mailbird, Stephen Agar representing Imail and Sam Heaton from Stannp.
The Incentives Group
Chaired by Isla Munro (Managing Director of The Dragonfly Agency) to lead strategic value and added conversations to the Testing and Innovation programme (TIS) from Royal Mail.
The group review and discuss current incentives and share ideas from industry on how we can help each of the three mail groups with their objectives: Advertising Mail – how we can help to deliver growth for this channel; Business Mail – how we can help to retain mail volumes; and Publishing Mail – how we can help to win more share from other channels to this area. The group review processes and brainstorm solutions to improve the incentive administration.
As part of the remit, the group will also explore JICMAIL in order to drive a more intelligent approach and greater understanding of the parameters of mail as a marketing channel. By working together as a sub board, we hope to deliver a mutual joint benefit of driving more customers to use mail as part of their marketing mix.
Group members: Simon Biltcliffe of Webmart, Danny Clarke from MBA, Ian Hemsworth from HH Global, Patrick Headley from Go Inspire and from Royal Mail and Head of Letters Incentives and Product Development, Shaun Roberts.
SMP Carriers Group
Chaired by Nigel Maybury (Non Executive Chairman of the Mailshop), this group was created to facilitate the coming together of representatives of the SMP, Access Operators and Royal Mail, allowing them to convene on a regular basis to discuss, debate and resolve issues and ideas.
Specifically, the group has discussed short term tactical or technical issues, in relation to the current mail industry service, as well as products and processes, medium term implication of new rules and regulations and long-term market developments and forecasts.
The group met twice in 2021 since forming last July. At both meetings the focus was on forecasting and trays. Forecasting because of the challenges Royal Mail faces on a daily basis due to the current level of inaccuracies of forecasts vs traffic that it receives and trays because 1400 large letter sortation is reducing profitability, increasing tray usage and shipping air. The SMP members have been compiling detailed evidence on this latter issue, which is still ongoing, and will be revisited at January’s meeting.
Group members: Nigel Maybury of Mailshop, Alistair Ezzy from Lettershop, Chris Ingham from Communisis, Tom Prestwich from Opus/Adare. The carriers are Andy Goddard from Whistl, James Wilkins from Delivery Group and Jonathan Wilkins from DHL. The Royal Mail representatives are Tim Cable, Charlotte Marshall and Roger Hardy.
Mail Presentation Advisory Group (MPAG)
Chaired by SMP Board Member, Kerry Holden (Mailbird Organisation Ltd), MPAG is an operationally focussed group, primarily tasked with the collaborative improvement of mail presentation processes, along with the cooperative resolving of mail presentation issues.
In plain English, the group looks at issues which affect how mail is prepared; how it gets into the Royal Mail network; how it is processed; how it is delivered. These issues range from the availability of consumables to logistical issues such as how to maximise tray fill, right through to overcoming the barriers to entry for products such as MailMark.
MPAG operates in an advisory capacity, providing proposals and recommendations to Royal Mail, in order to tackle the common issues that affect key stakeholders in the mail production process – whether that be Royal Mail itself, Access Carriers or Mail Producers.
Group members: Colin Banks of APG Group, Nigel Maybury from The Mailshop, Melvin Green from The Lettershop Group, Paul Anderson from Metromail and Heather Middleton and Mike Griffin, both from Royal Mail.