Adjusts Schedules for Absences & Other Variables; Notifies Agents Automatically
ST. LOUIS, MO (January 24, 2003) – Pipkins Inc. today announced the addition of a unique intra-day schedule re-optimization feature to Vantage Point 8.0, the latest version of its award-winning workforce management software for call centers. The new feature quickly adjusts the day’s staffing schedule to compensate for employee absences, last-minute meetings or other issues, eliminating the need for manual rescheduling. The system also automatically alerts agents to the changes.
Through a new “re-optimize” menu item in the scheduling screen, Vantage Point can now update the current-day forecast, recalculate the day’s staffing needs, and modify agents’ breaks, lunches and work assignments to reflect the day’s altered circumstances. The new schedule will be optimized to have the least impact on user-defined service levels.
Agents can be notified of the changes by email or by posting the revised schedules on Pipkins’ optional agent Web portal, called WAVE (Web Agent Viewing & Empowerment). This module enables agents to view and modify their schedules over the corporate network or the Internet with a standard Web browser, creating a paperless environment with no need to print and distribute schedules to hundreds of agents.
“Agent schedules may be created weeks in advance, but supervisors need the ability to make changes on the fly to respond to unexpected events,” said Jim Hogan, Manager of Customer Care for Pipkins. “Our new intra-day schedule re-optimization capability ensures that any changes will allow call centers to continue operating at peak efficiency.”
The new feature complements Vantage Point’s sophisticated methodology for forecasting workload and scheduling staff in single or multi-site call centers. Key features of Vantage Point include:
- A proprietary scheduling optimization algorithm and skill-based modeling that maximize accuracy and eliminate overstaffing by taking into account the number of abandons and busies, the optimal distribution of agents within skill groups, and other factors not considered by competitive systems.
- Exclusive historical trend analysis that fine-tunes call volume forecasts for special events such as direct mail campaigns, catalog drops and national holidays .
- A flexible, rules-driven scheduler that generates the optimal lowest-cost schedule based on factors such as hours of availability, agent preferences, and skill groups.
- Exclusive, time-saving automation of forecasting, scheduling and reporting as well as e-mailing, exporting and printing reports. All functions can be pre-configured for one-click execution and then launched, completed and even linked together to run in any sequence without manual intervention, cutting administrative overhead in half.
- Optional modules permitting real-time adherence monitoring, Web-based agent access, and Web-based time and attendance.
Vantage Point integrates with leading ACDs, e-mail response systems and other multimedia queuing devices for data collection across multiple sites and time zones. The Windows-based program also provides a full complement of default and custom reports, with an open system design that allows managers to access call center data using any third party SQL reporting package.
Vantage Point is also available as an Internet-based subscription service called WorkforceScheduling.com for call centers with fewer than 100 agents. The service provides Vantage Point’s full functionality over the Web by affordable monthly or yearly subscription, eliminating the need for smaller call centers to purchase, install and maintain the system in-house. It also includes a Web portal that enables agents to access their work schedules and request modifications online.
Pipkins Inc. (PIPKINS), founded in 1984, is the leading supplier of workforce management software and services to the call center industry. Its Vantage Point product enables managers to solve the complicated operational issues in today’s multi-faceted call center environment. PIPKINS’ systems forecast and schedule more than 100,000 agents in over 300 locations across all industries worldwide. The company is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. For more information, visit www.pipkins.com.