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Olive Blog and News

1 November 2017

Posted by David Evans

5 good reasons to use Workforce Management for forecasting

WFM scheduling.jpg

If you are still planning in your contact centre using tools such as Excel, it becomes increasingly difficult to govern the forecasting process and provide accurate planning levels. 

Here are five good reasons from Olive’s Head of WFM on exactly why you should be using Workforce Management software today:

1. Historical Data

 

Without WFM it becomes increasingly difficult to manage the historical information that drives the forecasting model. Each year, month and day will be impacted by seasonality, business drivers and other events that will create a base for forecasting.  With WFM, this data can be stored in a consistent and centralised format. The modelling can consider the peaks and troughs that all businesses incur.

Without WFM, it’s often a "finger in the air" type forecast – can you really remember exactly what happened a year ago let alone last week!  This is where the planning team can really be proactive in pre-empting changes to arrival patterns.

2. Intra-day arrival and special days

WFM will also provide the arrival volumes across the day. The intra-day volumes are critical to ensure that resources can be deployed at the right time.  For example, the call arrival patterns on a Monday morning in October may be completely different to a Monday in December.  By looking at the intra-day 15-minute intervals it becomes possible to schedule employees at exactly the right times.

There are also special events or days where the arrival deviates from the norm – the list is endless.  It could be a public holiday, one-off event such as a promotion, system issues, or even a mention in the media.  Whatever the reason for the deviation, WFM can capture this and you have the choice to include or exclude these special patterns in your forecasting.

3. "What if" Planning 

It’s not just call volumes that change over the year, businesses are constantly evolving to meet customer expectations. This may mean a new structure, a new site or a change in opening hours.

This is where WFM can provide “What If” scenario planning.  Using a safe sandbox approach, you can create scenarios based on the business objective and calculate the impact on service levels and cost to the business.   

A good example is recruitment planning for a peak or special event.  You can try out different work patterns that could be more lifestyle focused than the current schedules.

4. Long Term Forecasting

It’s not just the intra-day forecasts that help shape the business. Longer term operating model forecasting is also possible via WFM. This can either be a long term daily, weekly, monthly forecast that can be used for planning shrinkage across the year.

5. Real Time Optimisation

Finally, as an ex planner I can safely say that not all forecasts using a WFM are going to consistently accurate. With unexpected events, it’s sometimes impossible to get it right on the day.  This is where a Planner can proactively look at reforecasting on the day. If volumes are way over forecast, let the WFM technology take control of the movement of staff to through auto-optimisation. This makes the movement of resources more agile and will help to save your service levels and keep customers happy.

 

If you have any questions about WFM forecasting, or are considering a Cloud Based WFM solution, please contact us on 0203 675 3300 or info@olive.co.uk or visit our website and we’ll show you how we can help you with your Communications today.

Topics: Cloud, Contact Centres, operational efficiency, productivity, collaboration tools, Blog, workforce management, scheduling, workforce optimisation, automation

Blog Author

David Evans

David has joined Olive as Head of WFO and advanced applications and has over 20 years experience of contact centre planning and management. As a WFO Consultant David brings with him an in-depth knowledge of pre-sales, deployment and delivery of professional services. His role will be to continually evolve the contact centre WFO portfolio through WFM and Analytics and help customers truly embed the technology and deliver ROI. He has previously worked for companies such as Next, Nationwide and JP Morgan where he took on a variety of operational planning roles.