The Problem: Rapid Growth and Inefficient Systems
A leading document management company based in the Southeast had outgrown its support systems. Over a few years, it had acquired competing firms and absorbed their customer service centers. Even after closing its smaller service centers, it still had five large centers.
In addition the international holding company, the global leader in the field of document management, wanted to continue growing its North American business and needed a more efficient operation to support more customers with additional services at lower costs.
The Approach: Consolidation for Efficiency
We systematically analyzed the organization, technology, and services at each of the existing five call centers. From our analysis emerged an "as-is" document that described the database technology, call center software, hardware platforms, products, services, and sales organization at each of the five call centers. We then developed a feasibility study for migrating from five to two call centers. Two customer service centers were deemed the ideal solution, where they each would provide backup for the other in case of operational problems.
In order to identify feasible solutions, we held several day-long brainstorming sessions with the client's project manager. Our solutions with alternatives were then presented to senior management in a working session. This was important, since they understood their business better than anyone. Based on their detailed decisions, we revised our feasibility study, a step-wise approach that included functional requirements, a project plan with a time-line for conversion, and qualifications for the implementation team.
The Benefits: Room for Expansion
With two customer service centers, rather than five, the operational cost savings approached 30%, as staff were reduced from 700 to 500. Multiple diverse technologies became a single hardware platform with a single database system running a single call center system. Sales was delighted, as IT would be much more responsive to ad hoc requests and could move more quickly to meet operational needs. Marketing initiatives, to contact all customers in the financial services industry for example, would become easier and faster to implement with a unified systems architecture and fewer team leaders. The IT organization would become more able to support the corporate goal to grow the customer base 50% and total revenues by 100% over the next three years.