Description:On Tuesday 8 October, Government gave the go ahead for the roll-out of a new national postcode system that will provide a unique seven character code to every letter-box in the State by 2015. A consortium headed by Capita Ireland to develop, implement, and operate new postcode system for a period of ten years. The system is expected to be operational by spring 2015.
Ibec has long pushed for the introduction of postcodes. Having such a unique identifier can reduce costs for businesses through supply-chain and administrative savings. The postcode will benefit not only retailers but also consumers through enabling better use of online services and home delivery. It has taken ten years to get to this point.
Implication(s):Under the new system, Ireland will be the first country in the world to have a public database of unique identifiers for all properties (at least 30% of addresses are currently not unique) that will allow for the location of every individual household in the State. The postcode will be a 7 character code in the format A65 B2CD, with the first three characters relating to a general area or postal district in which the address is located. In Dublin, existing postal districts will appear as the first three characters of the new postcode.
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources have identified the following benefits of a postcode system:
- Cheaper and better delivery services in urban and rural Ireland – e.g. supermarket home delivery.
- Reduced response times and increased reliability of police, fire and ambulance service responses.
- Better and cheaper mails and express delivery services.
- Better public services from public bodies and utility providers.
- Easier use of online services.
- Better planning of public services thereby providing value for money for the general public.
- The introduction of postcode will boost businesses and increase employment.
- Postcodes are free for general public to acquire and easy to use.
- The postcode is easy to remember, unique to the address and is future proofed so will not change.
- All other OECD countries have postcodes but none has a postcode which is unique to the property.
Current Position:Postcodes are not just about postal services and the potential benefits of the system to individual business sectors needs to be clearly communicated. While some companies (e.g. financial services, utilities, bulk mailers, retail etc) have an in-built incentive to utilise the postcode system due to greater efficiency, the impact that introduction of postcodes on other companies needs to be communicated. There will need to be a significant public awareness campaign around this initiative to ensure success. Ibec will be meeting with the Postcode Management Licence Holder (an example of external partners to run a new public service) in the near future to understand the implementation phase and engaging on the preparedness of industry for the introduction of postcodes.
Phone: +353 1 605 1642