Research and development
Research and development expenditure in 2014 was EUR 11.2 million, or 0.6% of the Group’s total operating expenses. In 2013, the corresponding figures were EUR 11.3 million and 0.6%.
In 2014, Itella Mail Communications focused on long-term forecasts and the analysis of factors affecting the demand for and profitability of postal operations. In addition, Itella Mail Communications studied the progress made in electronic invoicing, the structure and digitization of letter traffic, the significance of e-commerce as a channel for shopping and the development of newspaper and magazine subscriptions in the near future. The development of new electronic services continued.
In the fall, a product-specific delivery experiment was carried out in six locations. During the experiment, products referred to in the Postal Act as universal service products, as well as newspapers and parcels, were delivered five days a week, as usual, whereas letters, advertisements and magazines sent by companies were not delivered in the experiment areas on Tuesdays.
The Group launched a new product for unaddressed advertising: since the beginning of March 2015, households have received advertisements and other unaddressed items in a separate wrapped bundle twice a week.
The delivery of online store goods was accelerated and expanded. Using the new web service, it is possible to check in parcels, in other words, to pay the postage fee and print out an address label for the parcel online.
Itella Russia analyzed available new advanced technology and invested in the development of warehouse management systems. With some customers, a voice-controlled goods picking system was implemented in warehouses, generating cost savings and improving productivity. In addition, the goods picking process in warehouses was developed.
OpusCapita continued the development of the new global multi-channel invoice processing platform and invested in the development of SaaS-based end-to-end solutions that support Purchase-to-Pay and Order-to-Cash processes.