Do you have any advanced tools for scheduling and staff management? Is it worth to invest in WFM or better to do these tasks manually? Which option is cost effective in the long term? Here are some practical tips for managers.
Purchasing the advanced WFM solution is a relatively big up-front investment. That is why managers analyze all costs and savings before making a decision. In experts’ opinion, purchasing the advanced WFM software is more beneficial in the long term than keeping a large team of planners doing the same work manually. “The amount of data managed in the contact center is the first argument for WFM. The data means not only agents and their working hours, but also the constantly changing environment – peaks and slowdown seasons, irregular projects, changes in campaigns and, what is very important, the nature of staff management – scheduling rules, shift patterns, flexible working hours, temporary employees, staff’s turnover. Without any good WFM software it is impossible to adjust manually all ever-changing requirements and parameters. If you want to manage the data manually you should be ready for significant reducing of service level which means declining customer satisfaction and loss revenues.”- says Piotr Pytlakowski, CEO of Comtrust, the company offering advanced WFM solution – OneWorkForce developed by Collab.
Supply and demand balance
To manage contact center effectively the most important is to develop different hypothetical “what if” scenarios … in the constantly changing environment. Without appropriate algorithms it is impossible to predict and analyze hypothetical situations. A human mind supported by basic tools, e.g. Excel, can only identify basic requirements and numbers effectively.
Businesses should look for flexibility and quick adaptation: requirements can be changed very quickly so forecasts can become useless without the ability to alter schedules dynamically to reflect reality. Automatic scheduling systems allow companies to create and manage an effective schedule by taking into account business requirements, employees’ needs and scheduling rules. Ever-changed parameters can impact the whole picture of the contact center. Companies investing in the WFM software, want to boost productivity and reduce the time they spend weekly on complex tasks of forecasting, creating a profitable and harmonious balance between supply and demand. Completing the balance means creating schedules that match the right agents to the projected work based on specified factors.
OneWorkForce offered by Comtrust is based on the scientific approach with very sophisticated and efficient algorithms for forecasting, scheduling and monitoring of agents and tasks in real time. It gives an easy and intuitive user interface. “With OneWorkForce our customers are able to plan their work and manage contact center business more accurately and efficiently – says Piotr Pytlakowski. WFM’s ROI is achieved in a short time – companies nor pay unnecessary costs of employment overgrowth, nor lose the quality of service if there are not enough agents. Resources optimization and balance become important factors influencing the costs and KPIs.”
Before deciding …
Before making decision about the WFM investment you should answer the following questions. Answering, you will see how WFM could help your company and bring strong financial and organizational benefits.
The WFM software will help to boost your business efficiency, match right agents to right projects, better utilize the agents’ potential and also improve the quality of service lowing costs at the same time.
- What is the number of agents required to ensure your planned SLA (example: 90% of calls answered in less than 30 seconds) over everly hourly period. And if you just decide to ensure this SLA, in average, over a monthly period ? What is the impact in terms of number of agents?
- Among the thousands of possibilities, what is the best combination of shifts to meet:
- your SLA,
- your country labor law,
- your agents schedule restrictions having in consideration the lowest cost (payroll) alternative ?
- How can agents exchange shifts between themselves, with supervisor authorization, maintaining a similar SKILL level ?
- How can your company study small changes to their generated shifts, by adjusting WHAT-IF scenarios… and view them in REAL TIME ? “What is the impact of this specific team starting working 1 hour later?”; “What if we reduce the size of the team, what is the impact ?”
- How can you predict the future volume of calls, based on my existing past data, automatically adjusting peaks and irregular past situations?
- How can you monitor, in real time, the adherence to the plan previously generated? How can you have alarms that alert to some possible strong deviations and allow you to act preventively ?
- How can you monitor anywhere, anytime, the real-time adherence to the defined SLAs, to the KPIs or other relevant data on your mobile phone or tablet?