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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.