Managing the data flow to the WFM system is one of the most important tasks of the WFM analyst. This is truly a case of “garbage in, garbage out”. The whole process starts with a forecast and it is based on history. If that history is inaccurate, the whole process falls apart. Check the accuracy of your forecasts and if you are typically more than 5% off for the day or consistently for some half-hours, a review of the historical data and the process of storing it may be a worthwhile project.
As workforce management calculates the number of staff required to support a contact center, they have to look at 4 critical factors. The first is the FTE required to do the actual work. In a perfect world, this would be your final number. However, that number has to be grossed up, significantly, to get to the total number of heads you actually have to employ to effectively run a contact center. The other factors that cause this number to balloon are: Lost time, Shrinkage, and Idle Time. In some contact centers, the FTE required for the actual work is only 50% of the employees being paid!
Whenever the concept of standard deviation is mentioned, I see a lot of eyes rolling. But the good news is that this useful calculation is really easy, especially when done in a spreadsheet program.
It seems that nearly every contact center struggles to control absenteeism. No matter how accurate the planning is, when more people are missing than expected, the service suffers. Addressing this problem takes many forms and some solutions will work better in individual centers than others.
Resource Planning is a complex topic. There are numerous stakeholders and multiple, sometimes conflicting, objectives. In the heat of the battle, even seasoned practitioners forget the good practice that they have learned, ignore some key principles and fall into bad habits. In this post we draw on the experience of the InVision team and that of several industry experts to enumerate some of the mistakes that we have seen - and give some tips on how to correct them.