Brink's Home Security Inc. had two missions in mind when it began using Aspect Communications' workforce management software: more effectively staff its call center and cut employee-related expenses.
The Dallas-based company said it has seen definite returns on its software investment.
Aspect eWorkforce Management v6, released in the late fall of 2001 and now being used by Brink's, is a forecasting and scheduling tool to help companies determine contact center volumes and then appropriately staff their facilities. The latest version features more sophisticated scheduling capabilities, as well as general system upgrades like the addition of new remote access tools such as voice recognition. It also boasts tighter integration to back-end servers.
Using the Aspect package, Brink's was able to simultaneously grow its customer base while lowering call center staffing levels and costs, company officials said. The firm estimates that related expenses dropped about 12% since deploying the software, while call center volume increased by roughly 14% year-over.
"The biggest deficiency you see in a lot of companies is related to back-end tracking and making real use of activity reports," said Rick Seeley, workforce manager at Brink's. "Most companies don't know how to utilize the technology and manipulate the data. The biggest benefit for us at Brink's is the fact that we've been able to lower our costs by efficient staffing as opposed to block scheduling. And that was achieved by really taking advantage of the ability to follow the numbers."
Seeley has worked in the role of CRM project manager at several companies and feels that the new Aspect release improves upon the tools he's worked with in the past.
"With every deployment you experience different levels of success but I've done at least three Aspect rollouts and the product has improved over the generations," he said. "There may be smaller aspects that you wish were done differently or better in each release, but they've done a nice job of upgrading the package and addressing those minor issues."
The product itself is a variation of software that San Jose, Calif.-based Aspect has leveraged to build a portfolio of well-known customer support clients in vertical markets like manufacturing and travel. Lately Aspect has built its reputation on customer facing portals for handling requests made by telephone, e-mail, fax and the Web.
With its workforce efforts, the firm is attempting to flip its applications for internal organizational use addressing tasks including scheduling and compensation management.
"Employee self-service was borne of customer want," said Larry Skowronek, senior manager at Aspect. "[Customers] ask us for ways to cut down on supervisors who spend too much time pushing paper. We're focused on reducing customer costs in the contact center while better meeting sales and service calls."
Going forward Aspect is planning to focus on systems integration possibilities, Skowronek said. The company also wants to have the system divided into individual applications to free up elements such as the onboard scheduling engine and carve out pieces of the package to embed into mobile devices.
Aspect is charging roughly $20,000 to license the program with individual user licenses running from $100-$400 based on complexity.
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