Epost: Evolving an online Business
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EPOST: EVOLVING AN ONLINE BUSINESS
Jane Gravil wrote this case under the supervision of Professor Deborah Compeau solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality.
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It was June 19, 2005, and Peter Melanson, chief executive officer (CEO) of epost, the electronic document delivery division of Canada Post Corporation (Canada Post), was preparing for a meeting with Roger Couldrey to hand off the helm of his brainchild epost. It was an emotional and pivotal event for Melanson, given his long history with this innovative business associated with Canada Post. This meeting would also mark a key transition for epost. The new CEO would soon need to make important decisions to ensure eposts ongoing success. epost had been a response to Canada Posts need to remain competitive in the document delivery business. Dy incorporating the Internet into its mail delivery service, epost would transform the nations postal system into the next evolution. To buy its competitor, epost had spent $14.5 million and now needed to drastically increase the organizations transaction flow. Melanson was well aware of the key deliverables promised to the board of directors some time ago, and he was looking forward to this meeting with Couldrey to discuss the future of epost.
Canada Posts electronic bill presentment and payment service, epost, had evolved substantially since its inception in 1999. Much had changed in both the business and technological environments since epost was launched. The next steps were queued to be big ones. Melanson wondered:
Will the recipe for epost success change as new business and technology strategies are implemented? What will be the best next steps for epost in this critical stage of evolution? Is epost still the right answer to take Canada Post to the next evolution of mail delivery service?
Melanson was well aware that the business landscape for epost was changing and knew that managing such a dynamic business in an increasingly changing environment would be a challenge.
In 2005, Canada Post was the sixth largest employer in Canada with 70,000 employees and 7,000 post offices across Canada. As the nations largest retail network, Canada Post served three million Canadians and more than one million businesses, delivering more than 11 billion pieces of mail annually to 14 million addresses.
Canada Posts origins go back more than 250 years to the days when French couriers paddled their canoes through waterways and made their way through the nations wilderness delivering correspondence for a fee. In the late 1 700s, the British colonial government took over creating a formal postal system. This mail delivery system remained in place until 1851, when Queen Victoria assigned Canadas provincial governments with official postal authority. Canadas confederation in 1867 marked the beginning of the federal post office, the