Australia Post improves payment forecasting

Australia Post has implemented predictive analytics and enterprise planning software to improve its cash flow forecast and analyze customer behaviour.

Australia Post works as an agent on behalf of companies such as the Australian Tax Office (ATO), telecommunications and utility providers. It receives payments for these companies at 4500 retail outlets and online. These payments go through an Australia Post bank account and are re-distributed back to the agency.

Its manual cash flow forecasting took weeks to produce and was not always accurate. In addition, staff had little visibility around movement of agency cash flows. To help the department overcome the problem of manual cash flow forecasting, it decided to implement predictive analytics software and enterprise planning software.

In order to check and determine the accuracy of the information, Australia Post took historical data from August to October 2011 and put it through the software to produce a forecast. They achieved an accuracy level of between 95 and 98 per cent.

Australia Post now has fully integrated actuals and forecasted monthly cash flows for the next four years. The monthly and daily cash flow models are also aligned. There is also greater visibility of agency financial data, something which the company did not have before.

In addition, Australia Post sales and marketing staff plan to use the new system for customer analytics in order to understand who their customers are, their buying habits and to identity customer churn.

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