About 1 500 Post Office branches have received new PCs and software – all without disrupting their normal working day.
XON recently has completed the countrywide rollout of IBM PCs and related PostLink software for the South African Post Office.
The rollout was performed by 15 teams of four to six technicians.
"The project covered about 1 500 sites around the country," says Stephan Ras, director of service and consulting at XON. "The project was also restricted by the Post Office's operating times. The teams had to start work at 4am and finish at 9am when the post office branches open for business, and then work again from 3pm – without interrupting the normal operations of the branches."
XON has a national footprint with sales offices in the major regions.
"PostLink is like ERP for the Post Office," says Ras. "Our teams, headed up by Kenny Pillay, had to liaise with the PostLink project manager, Dave Linell, to ensure that the software and hardware rollouts coincided."
SAPO, which delivers documents, parcels, packages and goods across the country including remote areas, increased its number of outlets by almost 100 between 2006 and 2007.
While most of the sites that XON's crews serviced were readily accessible, some were not. SAPO, driving equitable service delivery, also reaches rural and outlying communities in often remote circumstances.
In one instance, at a site near Umtata, the XON service team paid a cart owner to transport them to the site.
"There was no road to speak of and the team had to use donkey carts to ferry themselves and their equipment to the remote postal office," says Ras. "That kind of site is not on most maps and we had to outfit the teams with GPS devices and the appropriate software so they could find the post offices. Those guys really went the extra mile.
"Considering the hours at which the teams had to get started each morning, the project management teams from Post Office and XON often worked late into the night preparing for the following day," he says.