The major technology focused BPO firm had come to a crossroads. The original operating model had enabled the company to grow dramatically throughout its history. Today the organization boasted 8 contact centers on 3 continents and more than 2,500 agents. But what worked before wasn’t working as well now. Growth had stalled, margins were under pressure and the stock price was showing a downward trend. The BPO had to find better ways of doing things and act on them quickly. We were retained to complete a Strategic Assessment of the BPO contact centers globally, with a view to identifying opportunities to improve both operational effectiveness and efficiency.
Our team of consultants visited six contact centers on three continents and began at the beginning, completing a full end-to-end review. This assessment examined each of the thousands of ‘moving-parts’ within the contact center infrastructure. The sweeping engagement assessed the people in the centers, their skills and competencies, the processes, procedures, operational methodologies, technologies, quality and service practices and business objectives. With a number of centers and thousands of agents, this was a significant exercise in terms of scope.
The traditional approach employed by the BPO was to work in dedicated teams each supporting a single client. This approach could allow the agents to be closer to the clients and to have a better understanding of the client offerings. However, it also resulted in high costs and low agent efficiency. When the consultants examined the specific client accounts, it became obvious that the many clients were represented by small teams. We realized that by combining small teams into a larger shared services workgroup, the company could achieve greater productivity upon workforce efficiency.
The recommended workforce efficiency solution represented a radical shift in operations. In the first year of implementation, the company realized significant efficiency and operational improvements totaling more than $16 million in annualized savings.