Real Results

Real Clients. Real Problems. Real Solutions.

Result 1

Client

Global Outsourcing Solutions Provider

Division

Global BPO Operations

Contact

CEO / Division President

Major Functions

BPO / Transaction Processing Operations, Contact / Call Center Operations, Technology

Situation

A  business process outsourcing firm providing direct to Consumer and  Business- related contact center and back-office processing solutions for major global brands needed to re-structure its organization and rationalize its processes, with the  objective of developing a “best- in-class” operating model across  its global  outsourcing network.

LoBue conducted a comprehensive analysis, redesign, and implementation initiative for the organization, covering operations consisting of over 3,000 management and staff across eight facilities in the United States, Canada, and India.

LoBue Recommendation

  • Redesign a global delivery operating strategy in-line with customer expectations and current realities of the competitive landscape.
  • Optimize workforce model for smarter resource effectiveness and leverage.
  • Improve key operations processes for maximizing efficiency and reducing customer turnaround time.
  • Redefine organizational model to support business scaling and expertise enhancement.
  • Define a performance measurement and management process for excellence sustainability.
  • Develop a tactical technology strategy for filling critical capability voids and leveraging existing investment. 

Real Results

The initiative resulted in direct savings of over $10 million in annual operating costs for the organization.  In addition the program yielded the following key achievements across the business globally.

Delivery Model Enhancement

  • Designed and implemented a global operating model, resulting in the consolidation of operations centers and the migration of call volumes and processing functions to more cost-effective facilities.
    • “Insourced” voice-based processes and associated call volumes that had been contracted out to an external service provider for business continuity, overflow, and escalation purposes.  Key activities included the phased migration of call volumes to multiple internal facilities; design of a new internal business continuity plan; development of training programs and facilitation of training for new Agents; and, up-skilling of select Agents to reduce call volumes requiring escalation. Total call volumes migrated from the external service provider were in excess of 500,000 monthly.  Implementation resulted in the reduction in the cost per call in excess of 50%, as well as increased control over service delivery.
    • Migrated multiple voice and data-based processes and volumes from three U.S. locations to the organization’s India facilities, as well as consolidated U.S.-based operations, including the closure of one U.S. operations center.  Key activities included definition of the onshore / offshore delivery model; evaluation of regulatory, reputation, and risk considerations associated with the offshoring of sensitive processes; rationalization and improvement of all processes prior to migration; phased migration of processes and volumes to multiple locations; development of Key Performance Indicators to track and monitor success of process migrations;  development of training programs and facilitation of training for new Agents and Processors; and, creation of a change management and communications plans for impacted U.S. staff.  Total workload equivalent migrated to lower cost facilities was in excess of 200 F.T.E.  Implementation resulted in the reduction in the cost per call/transaction, greater ability to leverage economies of scale, and standardization of service delivery through centralization of processes.
  • Designed and implemented an enhanced customer care platform to support B2B customer service functions, including identification of opportunities to more effectively leverage decentralized service units, as well as development of a support framework for performance management and quality assurance.
  • Designed and implemented a centralized and integrated contact center support model to service IT-related user problem and service request reporting, as well as perform user administration management.  Implementation resulted in the consolidation of numerous decentralized internal help desk functions, (both formal and informal), thereby creating a single point of contact for end-to-end problem resolution and service request fulfillment within the organization.

Workforce Optimization

  • Designed and implemented a cross-functional multi-skilling model across select voice-based processes to more effectively manage real-time Agent utilization during intra-day and intra-month volume peaks and troughs, as well as to allow for call volume queue overflow.  A process complexity and skills requirements analysis was performed to ensure multi-skilling across like processes.  Total cross-trained staff across the impacted processes exceeded 20%.  Implementation resulted in a 15% reduction in staffing requirements and a 30% increase in Agent utilization within the impacted process.  Additionally, the organization achieved enhanced scalability, improved ability to meet contractual service level requirements, and new career-pathing opportunities for staff.
  • Designed and implemented part-time staffing models across select voice-based processes to better align staffing levels to business demands.  Total part-time staff across impacted processes exceeded 15%.  Implementation resulted in a 10% reduction in staffing requirements and a 20% increase in Agent utilization resulting from more optimal staffing within the impacted processes.
  • Established a real-time adherence / floor management function to monitor and manage service level delivery, line requirements, Agent breaks, intra-day resource allocation of multi-skilled staff, and crisis / emergency situations.
  • Rationalized, standardized, and centralized resource planning for all voice and data-based process, including volume forecasting, capacity planning, and shift schedule design.  Desktop procedures were developed for each function to ensure on-going management and standardization of the methodologies employed.

Process Improvement

  • Conducted a process rationalization review across all locations within the outsourcing organization to identify productivity and efficiency opportunities, as well as eliminate non-value add activities and identify areas for standardization.  Rationalization included the documentation of all key processes within the organization globally.
  • Designed and implemented a data entry automation initiative to eliminate manual printing of data records, institute exception-based processing, and reduce redundant data entry functions.  Key activities included the design of functional specifications, facilitation of technology development activities, execution of user acceptance testing, and technology rollout.  Implementation resulted in a reduction in process time per transaction from 90 seconds to 20 seconds, resulting in productivity improvement in excess of 60 F.T.E., as well as a reduction in error rates.
  • Developed and implemented a comprehensive problem management process for effective escalation, tracking, and reporting of customer problem resolution activities.  The model included standardization of problem severity level classifications, definition of organizational roles and responsibilities, design of escalation paths, and implementation of a problem ticketing tool to support the process.
  • Standardized the Customer experience by delivery channel to eliminate unnecessary and inconsistent activities between voice and online services.  Additionally, implemented e-mail and fax alternative channel delivery options for processing of bulk requests previously handled by Agents via the telephone.  Implementation of both initiatives reduced Average Handle Time for Agents within select processes.

Organizational Alignment and Staffing Enhancements

  • Developed and implemented “Centers of Excellence” to facilitate the centralized support of:  1) Business Analysis / MIS / Capacity Planning; 2) Quality Assurance and the Customer Experience; and, 3) Training and Development.  Implementation resulted in enhancements to the organization’s ability to more effectively leverage best practices, create ownership for the utilization of world-class methodologies, and standardize delivery of support function services.
  • Conducted a complete organizational analysis, including position rationalization, review and modification to management to staff spans-of-control, and development and implementation of career-pathing models.
  • Established attrition management and retention programs, including redesign of recruitment, hiring, training, and retention processes.  Activities included identification of the prospective employee experience, re-sequencing of decisioning activities within the hiring process, prototyping of psychometric testing tools for candidate short-listing, and analysis of compensation plan modifications and enhancements. 

Performance Measurement and Management

  • Standardized and enhanced the performance measurement and management system across the global organization, including definition of Key Performance Indicators designed to drive appropriate staff behavior; development of scorecard / dashboard reporting; definition of  performance targets; establishment of upper and lower controls (tolerance levels) to focus analysis time and effort on the areas of performance weakness; and, institution of root-cause analysis methodologies.  Additional objectives included the following:
    • Improvement in the availability and quality of information needed to drive management decisions, thereby eliminating the need to constantly design reports and decide what to measure. 
    • Minimization of staff time associated with gathering, verifying, documenting and interpreting data, as well as time spent preparing various reports and distributing them (estimated reduction in time equivalent greater than 50 F.T.E.).
    • Leveraging of new performance metrics, including analysis of intra-day and peak time performance versus merely reporting end-of-day and monthly averages.
    • Definition of “early warning signals” for potential threats to performance, including the development of “leading” indicators to support the more typical “lagging” indicators.
  • Conducted a call center benchmarking analysis against the Purdue University (U.S.) Benchmarking Database to identify major performance and operational gaps and identify solutions for implementation.  Activities included facilitation of internal data collection activities and definition of desired peer groups for comparison and analysis.

Technology Infrastructure Evaluation and Implementation

  • Assisted with vendor evaluation / selection and implementation of critical call center technologies, including Workforce Management Software and Call Quality Monitoring Software.
  • Installed an automated tracking, monitoring, and management tool to organize and present all Agent and process service performance information from a single source and compare actual performance data to established targets.
  • Evaluated additional call center technologies and performed cost-benefit analyses for Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and speech-enabled IVR technology.
  • “Insourced” the on-going management and maintenance activities for an externally managed IVR application and data transcription technology.  Total call volumes handled by the IVR exceeded 100,000 calls per month and included multi-language requirements.  Implementation resulted in a reduced cost per transaction, more effective control over service delivery and trouble-shooting activities, enhancements to functionality, and savings in excess of $500,000 annually.
  • Analyzed and implemented enhanced system and telephony infrastructure requirements to support call migrations between facilities and the insourcing of externally managed contacts.
  • Designed and implemented an enhanced imaging technology infrastructure to facilitate migration of paper-based processes between facilities.

Result 2

Client

U.S. Office of a European-based Bank

Division

International Trade Services

Contact

Vice President and Manager, Transaction Processing

Major Functions

Trade Finance Operations

Situation

The Client needed to increase operating efficiency, improve MIS controls and develop a contingency (disaster recovery) plan for its Documentary Credit Processing Unit. Key goals were to eliminate paper document processing and increase workflow capacity. Additionally, the Client wanted to undertake the implementation of new technology that would include document imaging and control.

LoBue Recommendation

Replacement System

  • Assisted the Client by developing a User Requirements Document for a new Imaging and Document Control System, followed by conducting a Request for Proposal, Vendor Selection, and System Design and Installation.
  • Evaluated Client's existing technologies and the new technology planned for installation, including internal and external interfaces.
  • Collected, identified and catalogued all source documents used to populate the current and proposed systems.
  • Coordinated user and management efforts to create a customized system.
  • Recommended reengineering all workflow processes prior to system development and implementation for maximum operational performance and minimum system development expense.

Operational Improvements

  • Developed and implemented Management Performance Indicators which were a first for the Client. They included: cost per transaction, monthly transaction volumes, and progress tracking of documentary credit work in process.
  • Created a Capacity Planning Model to ensure management could track volumes and processing times to meet planning and staffing requirements.
  • Implemented the use of multiple levels of transaction approvals, reducing transaction processing time and empowering senior technicians.
  • Adjusted the transaction pricing schedule for specialized service requests.

Real Results

Implementation of the new system, based on revised process flows, expanded the Trade Finance Unit's processing capacity by 30% and reduced direct operating expense by 27%. In addition, the quality and timeliness improvements led to a 20% year on year increase in trade revenues.

Result 3

Client

Newly Merged Money Center Bank

Division

Global Asset Management and Private Bank

Contact

Executive Vice President

Major Functions

Trust Services, Investment Services, Client Management

Situation

The merger of two Global Banks required the integration of the respective Investment & Private Banking divisions.  Significant differences in client focus, sales programs, systems and operations existed at the time of the merger. The "Street" committed savings from the merger strategy required the integration of the Investment & Private Banking Divisions to reduce direct expenses by $80 million.

Twelve months into the merger there was no progress on the integration.  As a result LoBue Group was engaged to resolve issues and achieve the committed integration goals.

LoBue Recommendation

Investments

  • Increase portfolio manager account loading.
  • Develop relationship/product profitability model.
  • Consolidate trading and incorporate a fixed income brokerage.
  • Rationalize investment advisory allocation.
  • Develop investment management system.
  • Install MIS process.

General Services

  • Reengineer domestic securities, international securities, cash processing, client services and credit control & support.

Client Management

  • Redesign organization and reengineer all activities identifying inefficiencies, redundancies and positioning.
  • Increase relationship management capacity within departments by realignment of non-sales activities.

Trust & Fiduciary Services

  • Implement specific process improvements, system enhancements, work design and a Management Process.
  • Remove administrative tasks from Trust Officers – transfer to Trust Assistants and Fiduciary Assistants.
  • Standardize work processes across department to institutionalize product.
  • Move support work from Trust Department to Operations area.
  • Install Management Information System

Support Operations

  • Identify redundant activities performed within the Private Bank for consolidation.
  • Develop unique processes for each activity utilizing "best practices".
  • Create organizational design which focuses on productivity, efficiency and service excellence.

Real Results

All Investment & Private Bank processes and operations were redesigned and a new management system was established. Client segmentation resolved differences in Product vs Client sales processes and improved Product Management results. Best practices were implemented across the organization and best of available systems in use were chosen and redundant systems eliminated.  The field sales network was redesigned, eliminating redundant facilities and personnel. At the conclusion of the 16 month program a direct cost savings in excess of $110 Million was achieved.

Result 4

Client

Large US Bank

Division

Wealth Management

Contact

Executive VP

Major Functions

Wealth Management, Customer Contact Center, Trust Services, Investments

Situation

A merger between two large U.S. Banks had taken place. As part of this merger, the Client had to consolidate the two Wealth Management functions at an annual cost savings of $80 million. The two entities employed about 3,100 professionals and the merger had to be completed within 16 months. The lack of organization was causing serious service issues across all products and processes.

LoBue Recommendation

LoBue had recommended a total re-examination of all customer facing and operational activities, to re-engineer all processes and develop a combined organization structure to yield the targeted cost reduction while improving the service provided to its wealthiest customers.

The Relationship Manger role was designed to focus on meaningful customer interaction and operational activities were stripped away.

A focus was placed on improving the processes in operations in order to reduce operational errors at the root of service issues.  At the same time, the capabilities of the dedicated customer care center were expanded to quickly handle service requests and improve first time resolution on inquiries. 

Real Results

The organizational consolidation was achieved in 12 months, with an approximate annual savings of $110 million while the staff requirements were reduced by 512 FTE (full time equivalent).

Approximately 600 processes were re-engineered or eliminated and service standards were improved.

First call resolution in the Contact Center improved from 76% to 89%.

Relationship Managers were relieved from non-customer related activities, allowing for a more efficient account loading.

By the end of the program, (sixteen months), the single Wealth Management Organization was fully operational with measurable improvement in client satisfaction.

Result 5

Client

Large Credit Rating Firm

Division

Credit Information Services and Contact Center

Contact

President

Major Functions

Credit Activities data base, Credit Information Services, Credit Rating Services

Situation

One of the largest U.S. based credit information services firm managed a consumer credit activity data base consisting of 400 million client folders which included in excess of 6 billion records of credit activities. The firm received 20 million plus inquiries and disputed information activity per year. LoBue Associates was engaged to recommend programs to reduce the electronic data load and to minimize the incoming call volume.

LoBue Recommendation

  • LoBue analyzed the existing data base and found that a significant amount of the massive information retained was redundant and outdated. The analysis resulted in recommendations for systematic purges and data cleansing projects reducing the retained transaction volumes.
  • It was also determined that several errors in the recording of the daily information had created duplications and were the sources of customer inquiries, thus recommendations were made to tighten up activities and controls for the data input processes.
  • Analyzing the call activity resulted in recommendations revising and clarifying the text on standard external communications, such as statements, to further eliminate client calls.
  • Design and implement a comprehensive report card to monitor and control data quality and client call activities; the report card contained quality targets and mandated actions if the targets were not met.

Real Results

  • The institution was able to reduce the massive database by more than 15% in size resulting in $2 million per year savings in computer processing time.
  • Client calls were reduced by approximately 2 million per year or 10%, eliminating $1.2 million in annual expense.

The cleaner client data and the lower call volume significantly reduced the firm’s legal exposure and the potential litigation cost.

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