The starting point for an ideal WFM system is the ability to forecast based on historical data and easily manipulate it.
You don’t want a “black box” which churns out numbers with no idea where they came from no ability to edit them. Your forecasting tool needs to understand the difference between immediate and deferred contact types as most businesses have or aspire to have a contact centre not a call centre.
Your people are important and the information that the WFM system understands about them is vital. The more information regarding the employee contracts that the system understands should make your schedule/roster more accurate and therefore require less manual input from the planning team.
The employees’ should also have the opportunity to influence and interact with the system. The employees’ should be able to view information about them, view performance, view schedules, request annual leave and shift swaps.
The scheduling process is an important one and perhaps the most complex. Most systems will use a modified erlang C as the core calculation of when to schedule employees, but some including the Verint and Avaya systems benefit from simulation based optimisation. The biggest element of your ROI (Return on Investment) comes from this part of the process. This might appear to be where the need for a WFM system ends, but that is not the case.
The next step of the process is to understand how the Operations team can benefit from your choice. A WFM system needs to provide you with Intraday Management tools to support the centre with monitoring resource, customer interactions and decision making.
Two other elements of a WFM system are reporting and what-if analysis. You need the ability to report on lots of information over short and long periods to understand the performance that was achieved, how it was achieved, and how to improve it. The reports should be available to anyone who needs access in the organisation and ideally Performance Management Scorecards should be available as part of the chosen system..
There is more to WFM, and there is certainly more to WFO, but hopefully the above gives you a great starting point when it comes to purchasing your new WFM system.
At Sabio we deploy the Verint and Avaya WFO solutions which consist of WFM. For more information on the differences between WFO and WFM, please see my recent blog on the Sabio website. Our in-depth experience with the solutions enables us to complete projects successfully and have the ability to rescue failed projects from other WFO providers.