LEEPs and LPO Conferences - Do you attend?

Australia Post spends a lot of resources, financial and otherwise, trying to engage with Licensees in networking and providing information via LEEP meetings and state LPO conferences.

Apart from the barriers of distances that many Licensees have to travel to attend, especially the LEEP meetings, LPOG is interested to know how these meetings could be made more attractive to more Licensees.

What topics would need to be on the agenda to secure your attendance? Or what might need to be omitted to make the event more attractive for you?

What is your prefered time frame. Weekends days, evenings or weekday evenings? 

So you see these events as a social network opportunity also?

It would also be interesting to know why you do not attend either the LEEPs or the LPO Conference. What burned you out? 

Your constructive thoughts posted below would be welcomed, thanks.

 

 

Comments

spikey's picture

I have probably only missed 1 Leep in 5 years and that because at the previous Leep AP were pushing streaming and we were told that some people were purposely misinterpreting their "agreement" ie "place in bag or tray" that is clearly written in black and white.Not much to misinterpret there!I do not (if I can help it ) purchase AP stock.Reason margins at times are not good and MOQ at times too high.AP solution buy from Corporate, but margin is lower.Just frustrated me.Their idea of solving the problem that has been complained about for many a year.In my opinion not mutual benefit just AP doing what they want to do their way.Some people were quite happy to work with that system for the odd thing so they could provide some customer service.This I agree is not a bad thing but I would prefer that AP dealt with the problem at the core and not just put "fixes" into place.When I go to Leep I wear my LPOG shirt.I mainly go to catch up with other members of LPOG and chat.I am happy going in the evening as they are held at venues about 15 mins away from home.Also I do not work everyday so on most occasions I do not have to get up and go to work the next morning like most will have to do.These reasons generally move across to the LPO Conferences as well.Have probably only been to 3 of them.Do not like to travel to something that I have little hope in that will change the lot of Licensees.Did go to the last one with my LPOG shirt on and membership application forms.Things that would encourage me would be genuine ideas to grow my business and not feather the nest of AP first.As I told AP QLD RNP a year or so ago if AP had a better relationship with its LPO's it would go a long way towards better attendance at their conferences and Leep's.

Biggles's picture

Agree with Spikey SA meeetings are similar - From experience over the past 10 years we have developed Total mistrust in the benefits that AP attempt to promote. Not until we see some serious resolution for the betterment of all LPOs via Senate, ACCC or LPOG, can I see the effort to attend LEEP etc restored.

phantom's picture

Lee meetings of no use to us. The last one was the closest, but prefer to spend my time going to LPOG meetings.
The last conference, over ten years ago, we purchased our Polaroid Camera ,before AP decided to sell cameras to us.
Banned from the photo listing when they decided to sell to us direct.
Not much of an incentive to go, especially when you have made the effort to go for the weekend, with the added expenses.

charligirl's picture

Only go to meeting because it's in my home town and I get a free feed and drinks from Post. Don't travel to big smoke for annual Post show as too far and not interested in most of their stuff. I have to work early on Mondays and can't justify being tired due to travel.

Maxi's picture

Along with distance comes the cost in going so far, not just the time. Since we aren't allowed by AP to close early, doing the drive after work to LEEP is always cutting it close - not a relaxing evening even with free food. Then driving home through roo country is dangerous at night. Follow that late night with having to get up early the next day since AP won't let us open any later makes the process very unappealing. Then add in the fact that the meeting seems to be mostly about new fangled ideas that don't work, products that don't sell, and generally just more hassle for us makes these meetings an easy miss.
As to the LPO in the big smoke (5 hour drive one way - no, make that 6 since they have moved it to the furthest corner of the state). Cost of overnight accomodation, meals on the way down and back, taking a weekend out of our busy (AP) lives, not being allowed to close early on the Friday or open late on the Monday, again make it unappealing. The last one we went to had nothing for us....minimum stock orders are huge for little LPOs. They were pushing something digital at the time. The programs seem to be all about AP as a wonderful father-figure and nothing to help sustain the small town LPOs. I don't want to swallow their Koolaid. The programs would have to be pretty dynamic and meaningful to get us to go through the troubles associated with the LPO conference.

The local office finally created a saturday event, that I would have considered going to what with free food and all, and I do enjoy socializing with other LPO's but in the end, it's a waste of my time if I wasn't planning on being in the city that same day. I simply don't trust anything they say, and the products presented are usually their hard-sell pitch on something new and shiny that either doesn't sell or is priced too high.

Their sales pitches are usually so bad it's embarrassing.

Kipper's picture

no trust in the people purporting to be our Retail Network Partners. And
no faith in my ability to mingle with them in a social environment without hurting them.

Their arrogance and total lack of understanding of any of any normal business practice or procedures and unfounded belief in new toxic folly being a mandatory requirement negates any chance of logical or enlightening discussions. They just currently want us to do everything that we are told to do no matter how much it costs us to do it.

We need a complete overhaul in attitude and the way we are treated. If all our AMs and SM were asked for 3 things they would like to achieve this year to assist us in our business, I see the top 3 responses being, what? why? and, compliance compliance compliance.

The specials on offer are not specials, Victorian AP concession card holders get far better deals than we do.

I have great LPO neighbors but hopefully we're not still in the position where we need to grovel and sacrifice our spare time for free feed with drinks just for the opportunity to catch up with each other.

Change of attitude and culture would be a mandatory requirement before I would consider ever attending again, regardless of what time of day or the distance reqirements are.

Stop the rot.

My thoughts only of course.

disenchanted's picture

Stopped attending all AP functions 20 years ago. Got sick of sitting through all the "we love you" and "we are here to help you" speeches whilst in reality, behind the scenes, AP were doing their best to cut back as many payments as they possibly could.

LPOGroup's picture

Well that is conclusive! It is topical at present because LPOG is trying to encourage Licensees to join and participate in LPOG, but we have the same issues as AP. We try to inspire Licensees to be proactive about their businesses and what they can do to help themselves, but that is also taken as LPOG pushing our own barrow for our reward. There are Licensees who tell us we are just running LPOG for our own financial gain, nothing more, and they refuse to add to our benefits. None of them have been able to tell us where the financial gain is yet, but they are convinced we are making a fortune doing this. Crazy stuff, so we do have a bit of sympathy for AP in trying to come up with attractive ideas that will mean something to Licensees. Thanks for the feedback.
Kipper's picture

Totally fdup things that AP could fix tomorrow with very little effort but they dont. A list of 50 easily fixed by the end of next month, but they don't care.
From the information and guidance that I have received from everyone in our group I have well and truly have received more than I have given.
If people are happy to work in an environment where easy to fix problems are ignored, I don't understand, for me I need more. I will not get more without this group. It's not just about financial gain. It's about doing things properly, when they are done properly everybody gains.
Is there such a thing as Stockholm syndrome?

I haven't been to a LEEP for about a year, it's not that I don't like them, there is just nothing or anybody that inspires me to we want to make the effort after a 10 hour day. I went to one where a licensee asked one of those hard questions about payments for a new promotion and it was quickly shut down. I personally would prefer a training evening about the new stuff they shove onto us, with of course a nice meal and socialising., and a payment for going.

Jan's picture

Agree with everything that has been said. also my main beef is that, if any issues are raised, they are quickly shut down as " not the time or place" which would be fine if there was a time or place.

Kan-do's picture

Agree with all of the above - recent LEEP made me feel sick as they had no understanding of my needs
Don't know what to do about lack of trust from other licences. Get marketing advice, also, I was inspired by your personal experience Angela, perhaps share that in various ways with the licencees

Frankie's picture

I go because they are in my town and I agree with all of the above. Someone from delivery should be at
Every meeting for a start. The delivery manager was at
The streaming meetings and that is it.
Then they are trying to get rid of the old stock and it looks
Old. Then they talk about western union and I was thinking yippee they will now summarise the 100 page
Judgement we were all told to read? No word about that.
Then it doesn't matter about stock as the corps seem
To get Christmas stock early and all year have the pick of
Other stock that doesn't seem to be in the catalogs .

I don't go anymore for a number of reasons.
The first is that they hold them at inconvenient times I am not interested in driving back and forth 160km in the dark.
I have no access to relief staff.
I have no wish to interact with AP managers who are pretending that they are there to help my business while at the same time have removed or are planning to remove services from my LPO.
And at the last couple of LEEP meetings I attended there seemed to be more corporate staff than Licensees and of course they all know better than me what is good for my business.

Gail's picture

We go to all the Leep meetings that we can. Usually they are held close by so travel is not an issue for us. During the week or weekends, we do make an effort to go. The main reason that we attend is to catch up with our Licensee friends, have a chat and a free meal paid for by Post. Sometimes we even win a prize. We don't need Leep meetings to do this but it is an extra opportunity to see each other. We also organise our own local meetings throughout the year separate from Post and have done for years even before LPOG. Leeps have turned into a product selling opportunity for Post to get a return on them investing money into these meetings. It's not about educating us, answering our questions or supporting our businesses. It's about control and sticking to their agenda. It sounds like the script is across the board with any questions shut down citing "this is not the time or the place". We have recently had Corporate Managers, Delivery Managers, Head Office staff, all sorts of big wigs attend our Leep meetings, and they know very little about how LPO's are run, nothing about our payment structure and zero about our issues. Most of the suggestions that I have put forward over the years have fallen on deaf ears. Workshops, training, testimonials from Licensees about what works for them, any different draw cards to get Licensees to attend are dismissed. Taking all of this into consideration we still go to every Leep meeting and the annual expo. I know how they are run and the agenda that is pushed, but I also want to be seen. I want them to know that I am there, watching, listening and taking notes.

wwcomms's picture

We also have gone to every LEEP meeting we can. I enjoy the time to meet other Licencees.
After the last meeting we attended in Canberra where they were introducing a new ordering system it would have been a good opportunity to teach us all how to use it ie training this would make them worthwhile for us. Week day meetings are not easy for us either but I do enjoy a weekend away.

I have been a licensee for 1.5 years and gone to all the Leep meetings since. I have noticed fewer and fewer people coming. It seems to be of no advance to go. We do get a little bit of new news and upcoming info. Because less people are coming, these is less networking being done. Considering these meeting, as I understand are for L.P.O they seem to just tow the corporate line. I think it's only worth going if lots of other go, but the meetings don't seem to be user friendly. The only things that come up are what the Aussie post want, no input from the local LPO. I know it's not a forum for complaints, but it would be nice to be able to write them down and maybe the issues could be resolved by the next Leep meeting and a discussion on important issues. Being able to have feed back on products by Aust post. As an example: who's brain child was it to write on the back of the prepaid satchels under senders detail "Deliver to:" so many of our customers put the address to send it to there, saying but it said deliver to. Small issues but also small fixes to make our lives a little easier. There are so many small issues that I find there isn't anywhere to raise them. Leep meetings could be so much more. More networking, more about LPO. What is working for others so that I can try it as well. Could we have LPO managers from successful LPO give presentations? My area manager was at a conference the other day about how they can best help LPOs. Why wasn't there a suggestion box at the last meeting we could have had some input. Anyway I am not convinced I'll go to the next meeting.

Wormies72's picture

Hi Greeny, i completly agree with you and suggested such to my AM a few meetings ago. Are you a member of APLAC? I think the APLAC platform is what AP want to be used for all these types of things. I might be wrong but it was the issue of all the unnessary lines of info on offer on the front of the satchel taken to AP by APLAC that got them removed. Once a member you can but all your day to day issues and suggested solutions to your APLAC member who then take is to AP.