As September drew to a close, Neopost, one of the most historic brands in the mailing and document solutions industry, announced plans to realign their 90-year-old corporate identity under Quadient, focusing on four major lines of business. These restructuring efforts come on the heels of the French company’s recently unveiled “back to growth” strategy in January of 2019.
Founded in the outskirts of Paris in 1924, Neopost has long held a strong market position in the highly consolidated mailing solutions space, a segment that yields most of their business to this day (70% of their 2018 revenue was attributed to this sector). In 2012, Neopost made moves to diversify their product portfolios in the face of continued mail volume decline. This strategy has led to the global holding company to operate more than 80 products across 29 countries, spanning from enterprise digital solutions to shipping to small and medium-sized enterprise solutions. Even as the visibility of the mailing portfolio decreased in this highly fragmented environment, it still outweighed the return produced from the two other independent business units within Neopost by a large margin.
Neopost’s revamped growth strategy looks to rebalance that allocation of revenue by 2022, targeting a 50% benchmark for mail solutions from its current 70% marker, supported by a more focused portfolio mix along four main lines of business, including mail-related solutions, business process automation, customer experience management, and parcel locker solutions.
“In January 2019, we unveiled our new strategy aimed at growing our company and moving away from being a holding company to a focused, integrated organization,” explains Geoffrey Godet, Chief Executive Officer of Quadient.
In addition, Neopost will consolidate their global footprint to concentrate most of their efforts in advancing their market share in North America and large European countries (including Austria, Benelux, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), territory which currently represents more than 85% of their total sales.
A large part of this transformation seems aimed at forming a cohesive strategy around the new brand that better articulates their future role in the digital world and the changing dynamics of customer needs. You don’t have to look much further than the company’s prescribed vision and mission statement to see evidence of this evolving focus area for the newly realigned company, which states, “Quadient is the driving force behind the world’s most meaningful customer experiences. We focus on delivering solutions that create relevant and personalized interactions.”
For several years, Neopost has pursued their own digital transformation strategy, evidenced by the acquisition of GMC Software in 2012, a leading customer communications management (CCM) provider known for their omni-channel proofing and coordination capabilities. This acquisition remains their largest to date, resulting in double-digit sales since that time. In 2017, they integrated three separate groups, including GMC Software, Satori Software (which was then divested in 2019 to Thompson Street Capital Partners, the owner of BCC Software), and Human Inference, under the name of Quadient. The newly formed company was especially aimed at coordinating omni-channel experiences across the customer journey. Since that time, Quadient has continued to build their digital arsenal with investments in low-code development architectures for mobile and web applications.
At the beginning of 2018, Geoffrey Godet took over the helm of Neopost, Quadient’s parent company at the time. Mr. Godet hails from Flatirons Solution, where he served as the CEO since 2004, a firm that specializes in digital solutions for complex, content-driven environments in heavily regulated industries. Under his leadership, Quadient will certainly have the potential to seize bigger and bigger opportunities in the realm of digital experiences while simultaneously driving further into the customer experience management landscape.
However, Quadient Chief Marketing Officer Tamir Sigal emphasized to DOCUMENT Strategy that they have no intention of leaving their postal mailing business behind. Rather, they intend to pour money back into this product line, with two major releases expected later this year and a new product announcement in 2020. Acquisitions will also play a major role in Quadient’s proposed growth strategy among their four product segments. The company has already added the Irvine-based parcel locker provider Parcel Pending in a deal worth $100 million at the beginning of the year. While Quadient hasn’t revealed plans for future acquisitions in 2020, we expect to see some investment from them to further cement their position in the customer experience market.
Quadient’s CCM solution portfolio remains a standout product group for the company, raking in impressive sales and scoring consistent industry accolades along the way. It also represents the best-positioned business within the newly realigned company to achieve their digital transformation goals. Since 2013, the company has steadily pushed beyond the traditional realm of print output for CCM, adding responsive design, omni-channel proofing, customer journey mapping, omni-channel coordination, and, most recently, low-code development for digital experiences.
However, Quadient has taken a slightly different approach than some of their competitors around migrating core CCM processes to the cloud. Instead of a full platform migration, Quadient has introduced specific components, such as their Customer Journey Mapping, Inspire Customer Preference Management, Digital Advantage Suite Digital Services, Inspire Insights, Inspire Messenger, and Inspire Omnichannel Coordination, as a part of the Quadient Cloud offering. These modules are software as a service (SaaS)-enabled, allowing users web- or browser-based access to these individual services. As a part of their growth strategy, Quadient points to extending more cloud-based services (such as a robust online designer for high-volume batch/on-demand production) and their evolution to a full SaaS model, not requiring any installed technology or software on-premises.
Since its acquisition of GMC Software, Quadient has increasingly laid the groundwork for connecting highly complex and compliance-ridden CCM processes to activities along the customer journey. The customer experience management space is a highly fragmented and convoluted marketplace, depending on what interaction you have with a customer. The opportunity for Quadient is to now “formulate a compelling forward-looking strategy that provides clarity in the market about where the company wants to go as a CXM business," says Kaspar Roos, CEO and Founder of Aspire, a leading consulting firm specializing in the CCM and digital customer experience (DCX) industries.
When we asked Mr. Sigal to clarify how Quadient sees their position in this larger market within the context of CCM, he said, “What we want to focus on is making sure there's a consistent experience, from the time the customer engages with the brand to the time that they are serviced throughout the entire lifetime of the customer. When we look at the customer experience, we know it's a very broad subject, but [for us,] it's the idea of these connections and to be able to deliver meaningful and timely interactions that are personalized to the experience.”
On September 25, Quadient officially changed its ticker on the French SBF 120 stock market index and is now listed under QDT in place of NEO.