Are you Stressed Finding Budget for WFM?
The Contact Centre Wizard of Ops
The story goes that somewhere in the Cloud there lives a Resource Planner who’s known to his peers as “The Contact Centre Wizard of Ops”. He was given his title after achieving astonishing forecasting accuracy results using WFM software.
It wasn’t always this way. He usually worked long, unsociable hours, number crunching on spreadsheets and Erlang calculators, trying to ensure that all of his workload forecasts and agent schedules were accurate. He could only dream of aligning staff with customer demand, as he either had too many or too few agents on shift. He strived for an 80:20 service level, but fixing shifts wasn’t an option as agent moral was already at rock bottom. The occupancy rate was either 95% or 55% and agents were leaving in their droves.
Forecast accuracy was often out by a whopping 30% and it was costing the business money on overstaffing, and lost revenue due to missed sales from abandoned calls during periods of understaffing. Time spent on recruiting new agents was overwhelming and above the industry average of 7% for expenditure. Things couldn’t get any more out of control. Management were not happy!
Budget for WFM was required
Management had a lightbulb moment. They allocated the Resource Planner an over zealous six figure sum from the Capital Expenditure Budget . He was instructed to go to market and source a WFM solution that came complete with all the bells and whistles required to run it. He was also advised to get a good deal on maintenance and upgrades over 3 years. Circa £24,000 for 500 licences, to be precise. This would be an additional £72,000 on top of the cost of the system itself. One quote even exceeded a quarter of a million pounds.
Risk was assessed
Management explained that the risk in making the wrong procurement decision could mean bankruptcy and issued a few guidelines on the amount of spend. As a due diligence measure, a 30 page Request for Proposal (RFP) was drawn up to be distributed amongst WFM vendors who wished to tender for business. This included a system requirements checklist, security questionnaire and systems integration document, to ensure any potential new system was fit for purpose. In addition, an ROI within 2 years was expected. The system had to be feature rich, intuitive, Agile, scalable and affordable.
The Resource Planner demonstrated thought leadership throughout. Rather than contacting the usual WFM suspects, he decided to turn to his professional network on social media and put out the feelers. He posted on his LinkedIn profile, “my contact centre is in the market for a WFM tool, can anyone recommend one?” Responses flooded in from many legacy ‘on premise’ vendors, before there was a moment of serendipity. A cloud WFM vendor entered the arena proclaiming that capital expenditure (Capex) can be switched for operational expenditure (Opex) when procuring cloud services such as:
CaaS — Communication as a service
UCaaS — Unified Communications as a service
PaaS — Platform as a service
BPaaS — Business Process as a service
IaaS- Infrastructure as a service
SaaS — Software as a service
The one that stood out from the crowd was SaaS. All that was required was the software. The bonus with procuring a SaaS solution is that you simply lease the software with no hardware to purchase or accompanying maintenance. Also when procuring a SaaS solution precious time should not be wasted on sending out RFPs and waiting on responses as this is just a complex, time-consuming process, giving the illusion of reduced risk.
Switching from Capex to Opex
The Resource Planner wasted no time. He knew that there was no substitute for trying out a system in a live environment with his own data. Just when he thought things couldn’t get any better he was surprised to find a WFM solution that came without setup fees, training fees, upgrade fees, maintenance fees, and with a low recurring monthly subscription fee, without any long term contracts to sign. When he reported his findings to management they asked “what’s the catch?” He replied, “there is no catch, and just when you think things can’t get any better, we can pull the plug at any time if we find the system wanting. No risk!” Management asked three simple questions:
1. What’s it called?
2. How much does it cost?
£9 per user, per month, with no other costs to consider.
3. Where do we start?
Originally published at blog.injixo.com.