Atkins is the largest multi-disciplinary consultancy in Europe and the world’s eleventh largest international design firm employing approximately 16,000 employees globally. Atkins delivers a range of professional property asset management services to thousands of properties across the UK and manages the demand / supply interface via a customer focused helpdesk of 100 operators, based in Leeds.
The helpdesk manages demand by locking in Atkins client’s processes and business rules to deliver targets. Further cost control is delivered by ensuring that data they collate through their bespoke IS system – Atkins Intelligence (Ai) is transferred into knowledge to help their customers manage their costs in relation to asset management and space / estate decisions.
Last year Atkins reached critical mass of 100 full time employees (FTEs). Handling over 1 million inbound calls and ¼ million outbound calls per year, across various private and public sector customers with differing service level agreements (SLAs), schedules were becoming increasingly complex to manage with holidays and absences cumbersome to report on using just Excel spreadsheets.
Following a full cost benefit analysis, the NICE Perform® Call Recording and IEX TotalView® Workforce Management (WFM) solution was recommended and implemented. Expert technology suppliers in this area, Business Systems (UK) Ltd, identified that significant helpdesk efficiencies could be realised through more effective resourcing and scheduling and were chosen for their cost-effective solutions, responsiveness and understanding of Atkins’ requirements.
The Call Recording solution enables team leaders to randomly select, listen, evaluate and score calls, entering results onto the system which then generates performance reports.
Committed to continuously improving performance, WFM features such as the ‘Web Station’ allows Atkins operators greater autonomy, putting information at their fingertips with real time pop-ups of schedule changes and reducing unnecessary interactions with team leaders. The Adherence Suite has also proven invaluable, with visibility of adherence to work schedules, variances can be dealt with on an individual basis and operators now gain daily feedback, facilitating better time management. Since implementation Atkins has seen adherence increase from 76% to 90%.
Since systems implementation, an overall cost reduction has been possible as a result of deploying more appropriate shift patterns as identified by WFM. This in turn has led to better management of surges and peaks in call volumes. Atkins’ customers benefit from improved service and lower costs. The implementation has also resulted in a 2% decrease in absences due to real-time information providing the helpdesk with autonomy and ownership of absence rather than being reliant on outdated HR reports.
Atkins has also achieved reductions in seasonal recruitment spend and going forward can apply robust recruitment modeling by employing flexible shift patterns, recruiting to better hours with the implementation of operators working ‘5 over 7 day’ contracts rather than traditional Monday to Friday shift patterns.
According to Lucy Harris, Head of Helpdesk at Atkins “our single biggest gain since implementing Workforce Management is the increased visibility of our resourcing requirements which has enabled more effective planning and utilisation of resources.” Atkins helpdesk continues to harness best practice and the delivery of better service whilst driving efficiencies. With plans for reciprocal site visits and knowledge share among other product users the helpdesk also plans to undertake consultancy to streamline processes and identify further areas for improvement.