Customer satisfaction, innovation, as well as the reliability and availability or security of solutions and services are Neopost's main challenges for its customers and partners.
These challenges are addressed from the design stage of offers, solutions and services and are translated into ambitious objectives, which are regularly monitored.
In addition, the company's main environmental commitments, formalized in its Code of Ethics, focus on product innovation and eco-design, remanufacturing and the recovery of waste generated by industrial sites and end-of-life products, thus promoting the principles of a circular economy.
This code also sets out a framework for all Neopost units, which are committed to taking action to reduce their carbon footprint.
Conducted in 2018, a materiality analysis made it possible to identify and prioritize the issues that matter most to stakeholders and on which the company's action must focus. These challenges were then grouped into five areas: engaging with employees, building customer trust and satisfaction by offering innovative, secure and sustainable solutions and services, acting ethically and responsibly, limiting the company's impact on the environment and acting in communities.
Conducted in 2018, this analysis was carried out in three main stages:
- A study of international standards, a benchmark of industry best practices and a review of the expectations of clients, investors and rating agencies in order to establish a list of the company's CSR issues;
- Consultation of the company's external and internal stakeholders. Interviews were conducted with investors, customers, partners and members of Neopost's Executive Committee. Questionnaires were also sent to all senior leaders and some of the company's employees, representing Neopost's various business units and subsidiaries, as well as to a sample of end users of its solutions and services;
- Analysis of the results of the consultation and calculation of the final scores for each challenge.
Since 2006, Neopost has had an ecodesign policy aimed at improving energy efficiency, packaging, disassembly and recyclability of its products. The implementation of ecodesign rules within development projects associated with the completion of environmental assessments (life cycle analysis) helps identify the phases of the life cycle of products, technologies and components that have the greatest environmental impact.
The efforts made have yielded very encouraging results concerning the environmental gains of new generations of products, demonstrating at the same time significant economic gains. Today, all franking machines and folders/inserters ranges benefit from this ecodesign approach.
Since 2013, remanufacturing has been an important part of Neopost's environmental strategy. Industrial process during which a product is recovered from the field (product at the end of the contract, demonstration, exchange) then inspected, dismantled, cleaned, and updated in terms of functionalities (hardware and software), it is part of a more global approach of circular economy.
As demonstrated by independent experts in circular economy in a study conducted in 2014, a remanufactured machine has an environmental gain of up to 37% less in terms of greenhouse gases (GHGs) generated over its entire life cycle than a new machine.
Each year Neopost invests around 5% of its turnover in Innovation and Research and Development. This investment supports the launch of industry leading technology, such as the fit-to-size automated packaging solution, CVP-500.
It also supports NeopostLabs, its internal team dedicated to innovation, in their experiments around 10 future trends such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality or machine learning, to identify potential uses creating future value to the customers.
Engaging with employees as well as external partners in knowledge-sharing workshops and incentives to share ideas and new patent applications, the company strives to build a culture of innovation that is disseminated among the organization, to drive change through innovation.
Every year, Neopost conducts two surveys of thousands of customers on their satisfaction and loyalty. Neopost thus assesses the trend of the customer base on its mail processing, document management and dematerialisation systems. This then allows it to propose action plans to continue to satisfy customers as well as possible. Strengths and weaknesses, as well as their importance, are studied to determine the priority areas for progress.
Improvement plans are then defined and managed both at group level and at local units level, according to two complementary dimensions: technology and all customer-facing processes. According to the latest survey conducted in 2018, the satisfaction rate remains relatively stable year-on-year and 97.5% of Neopost customers are satisfied with mail processing and document solutions.
Neopost ensures that its suppliers comply with its requirements through dialogue, visits, audits and performance assessment carried out by its teams. Over and above contractual matters and supplier selection audits, since 2017 the industrial partnership and procurement department has launched an annual CSR assessment campaign for its suppliers.
Those who do not fulfil the company's assessments are asked to provide an action plan. 221 suppliers have been assessed since 2017 (116 in 2017 and 105 in 2018) representing 98.9% of the total manufacturing purchases from the plants at Le Lude and Drachten and from Neopost's OEM partners in 2018.