Barclaycard Business: Financing workforce management.
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Barclaycard Business is the multibrand credit card and loans business of global financial giant Barclays. With 450 agents to service more than 142,000 business customers and 500,000 individual cardholders worldwide, Barclaycard has to ensure that its three U.K.-based contact centers are adequately staffed. But a mixed-bag workforce management (WFM) strategy providing limited operational visibility forced an investment in a more cohesive solution.
One of the contact centers used a packaged WFM application, while the other two relied on spreadsheet models. As a result, the centers had to manually evaluate adherence and efficiency levels. Hitting performance goals was also an issue. The centers often fell short of service levels and had a systemwide forecast variance above 6 percent, translating into more than GBP200,000 (about $400,000) shelled out in overtime costs for just the first half of the year. They also had to hire a planner to deal with schedule changes.
Looking to improve its resource planning processes, Barclaycard went live with the IEX TotalView WFM package from IEX (now a NICE Systems company) in 2005. The multisite functionality allows Barclaycard to run its centers as one virtual operation, integrating each center's automatic call distributor with TotalView. And the Schedule Bidding feature allows agents to work the times they want and manage their own holidays, according to Colin Wheelan, planning and intraday manager at Barclaycard.
Barclaycard's IEX implementation has provided its centers with accurate forecasts and extensive visibility as well as improved adherence. The frequency of recorded customer calls improved by 66 percent, service level by 20 percent, and abandonment rates by more than four percent. The company also realized full ROI in 11 months and slashed overtime expenditures by more than 40 percent. The next order of business? Taking that to the bank.
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