Hermes is poised to expand its next-day delivery service and launch a customer app, as it shifts its priorities.

MD Martijn de Lange told MT the parcel carrier had previously focused more on its logistical operations than customer experience, but is now redesigning itself as a customer-centric, technology-driven business.

He said: “It’s about how to communicate with the end customer. How do you find out things about the end customer so you can deliver the parcel every time in a way and in the place that suits them?”

Part of this, said de Lange, will be the growth of its
next-day delivery service, which has doubled in size in the past three years.

Currently at 18% of its total volumes, the business expects this to expand to 21% by 2019.

But de Lange said its focus on one-day turnaround does not mean Hermes is positioning itself as a rival to premium next-day specialist DPD.

“We want to be value for money in the standard next-day market but give it more of a premium feel,” said de Lange, “but I’m not trying to position myself as a competitor to DPD. We are very much our own business, we have a different operating model.

“True, there might be customers that say ‘If that’s what the services are, why would I pay a premium or express rate?’ But it’s still a different business, focusing on different market segments.”

Read more

Hermes will also launch an improved app for end customers in 2018, which will include the technologies it has been developing this year. These include taking photos of safe places and a new returns system. The app will incorporate MyHermes services so users can also track parcels they have sent.

Growth at the business also prompted the creation of de Lange’s MD role in March this year. De Lange, formerly chief operations officer, told MT Carole Walker (formerly Woodhead) remains CEO, but he is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business.

He said: “Hermes UK has expanded above average industry growth for a number of years, so the business has got to a size where we need to split responsibilities between myself and Carole. Carole sits in the European part of the board and works with customer experience, and I run the business on a day-to-day basis as MD.”

Hermes opened its new Rugby hub in August this year (pictured).