Making Everyday Life Smoother for the Whole Nation
When it comes to managing online orders, personal mail and invoices, OmaPosti is a loyal servant for all of us Finns. Some may even call it an “everything app”. During its first two years the service has broadened its impact on the society, and the team behind it has developed its own unique way of doing things.
How would it sound like to be able to affect the lives of millions in your everyday job? Well, Timo Korander, Head of Consumer Services at Posti, and his team of product owners, developers, designers and analysts get to do just that.
It’s been 2 years since the launch of OmaPosti. An app originally built for helping consumers follow their parcel’s journey from the store to their doorstep and making it easier to pay their invoices, has during the years expanded to a holistic service that starts to verge an “everything app”. We introduced OmaPosti when the app was taking its first steps and now we are thrilled to meet again, see what’s new and open up the intriguing discussion about what lies ahead.
Designing for the Needs of a Modern Consumer
To set the table, let’s go back to where it all began. The predecessor of OmaPosti, Posti’s Netposti service, had been serving its job well. Yet the wild growth of ecommerce made a service based on digital letters and invoices inevitably outdated.
“During the last 10–15 years the popularity of online shopping has grown dramatically. When people make an order online, Posti is an essential part of the value chain. We get to encounter the customers in the last mile of the delivery,” Korander tells.
An enormous mapping of the modern customer’s needs was carried out, and the need for a completely new service became clear. “We wanted to create a user interface that helps with the small, yet essential, things in everyday life,” Korander says. Its motto was to make everyday life more simple for the whole nation. “For Posti this was a natural new role,” Korander points out.
An Ability to Change Opens Doors
By utilising an agile model in their daily work, the OmaPosti team has been a Posti pioneer. Or – to be more exact – a mix of different agile models and, well, life experience. “We are not doing things by the book nor copying a certain scrum guide. Instead, we’ve picked the best practices from different agile models and combined them with the experience of the do’s and don’ts from the team members’ previous jobs, for example in the startup world,” Korander sums up.
The team treats change as a possibility: nothing is cast in iron. “We are very willing to change the way we work and put a lot of effort into enhancing our agile model when the team evolves and grows,” Korander says.
The team has an active feedback culture, and the metrics of success are open for everyone. Succession is measured with KPIs defined together, such as the amount of daily users. The development work is done in two-week sprints, and after each sprint, the team members grade the project based on their own feelings.
As a part of the model, the team is not system based but organised around customer value. An agile way of working makes it easier to be reactive. “Our customer base is so wide that the things we have miscalculated tend to come forth quickly. With our way of working we can turn the direction fast,” says Korander.
Impact with a Big I
From the very beginning, OmaPosti has been a co-creation project. Customer opinions are collected through feedback, online inquiries, test versions and meetings with the customers in the design team’s lab located in Posti’s new flagship Box by Posti. “It is also essential for us to try to get into the customers heads and anticipate their needs before they even recognise them,” Korander adds.
Korander sees that getting to create something that can potentially affect millions of people is a big motivator for the team. “The challenge posed by working with big changes in the world interests talented people. I have some of Finland’s best talents in my team and the things we do here spring from the people themselves.”
Towards an Everything App?
Since its launch, OmaPosti has gained many new qualities, including a more exact, 2 hour time slot for home deliveries, delivery without physical contact and tracking the parcels of almost all the biggest delivery companies. One can sort out online orders by naming them (emojis included!), pay invoices with any debit or credit card and even divide the payments to smaller installments.
Besides making things smoother for consumer customers, Posti wants to help Finnish online retailers grow. In the near future a company-aimed version of OmaPosti will be launched, through which companies can ship parcels and get accurate reports of their actions. OmaPosti also works as a media channel for companies and offers them possibilities for highly targeted advertising.
OmaPosti covers it all from the order to the return or even selling a used item onwards through peer-to-peer market. It’s a virtual mailbox that stores not only your invoices but also your personal letters. Could it evolve into an everything app where all the services the nation needs are in one place?
“Well, our aim is not to become an online retailer, a health service or a bank. We will be focusing on developing functions that fit into our position in the value chain and our role in the society,” Korander stresses. “Our guiding star will always be the appreciation of our customers’ own will and giving them as much power of decision as possible.”
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