Free Long Term Holiday Planner

Posted by Tim Wharfe on 14-May-2018 17:10:31

Allocating holiday/vacation hours for a long period of time is very time consuming. Our FREE Long Term Holiday/Vacation Planner allows you to create a long term plan in minutes.

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Holiday-Alocation

The Calculation
There are various bits of information required to complete this task –

  • Current FTE
  • How many Hours per Week = 1FTE
  • What is the general percentage allowance for vacation over a vacation year
  • Should vacation days be rounded to that of a full time day shift (8 hours for a 40 hours week)
  • A requirement of agents for each week over the year

U-WFM will then process this information to give an allowance for vacation hours by both week and day.
In the below graph, the percentage distribution of agent requirement is plotted (orange line). What U-WFM will do if flip this line, in effect, showing a mirror image of the requirement (purple line).

 

The same principle can then be done by day, which will then distribute the weekly hours over individual days. The daily allowance can then be auto imported in to U-WFM’s vacation planner.

The Result
When the overall vacation hours are distributed over the mirror image, what happens is lower vacation allowances are plotted at busy times, higher vacation allowances are planned at quiet times helping to balance agents working hours over the year and crucially, to increase Service Level with no cost to the business.

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What is WFM?

Posted by Christine Chapman on 30-Apr-2018 13:01:36

What is WFM?

 

Definition

WFM stands for Workforce Management, but what does that mean? In a nutshell, it’s the job of getting the right agents, with the right skill in the right place at the right time. Workforce Optimisation is another term, which just takes the planning of your resources (staff) to another level, but in essence it is all Resource Planning.

Overview

If you are asking the question, then you are probably working in a call centre that hasn’t invested six figure sums in purchasing software to forecast how many calls are going to arrive each 15-minute interval of every day, automatically schedule flexible shifts for agents to work to meet demand, and track what those agents are doing during their shift. That said, you are probably doing all these tasks in some shape or form, but perhaps it is time for you to take a breath and think about how you approach the job of Resource Planning, and whether, before long, you may benefit from acquiring a cloud-based solution to make the job easier, such as u-wfm.

WFM

The WFM function can initially be divided into 3 functions:

  • Forecasting
  • Scheduling
  • Real Time

It is the glue that binds together the 3 main perspectives of call centre management:

  • the customer
  • the staff
  • the bottom line

Good resource planning will ensure that there are enough agents on the phone to deliver a good customer experience. This in turn balances the workload of the agents, so they should neither be too quiet or too busy. The result being an efficient operation, with costs managed effectively, good customer retention/satisfaction and a happy workforce.

It is often said that WFM is both and art and a science, mathematics and algorithms play a major part in a sophisticated forecasting model, but without the common sense and business knowledge of someone who understands your company and how it operates, this will fall short of the accuracy you need to run an efficient call centre. The human element is as important as fancy footwork in Excel or WFM software, and that is where the art comes into it.

Interested in using U-WFM Free for 30 days?

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Long Term Holiday Planing

Posted by Tim Wharfe on 20-Apr-2018 14:51:24

The Problem

Planning for vacation over long periods of time can be a difficult task to complete. To achieve a quick and easy calculation of how and where to allow agents to ‘spend’ their vacation time, U-WFM are introducing a calculator that will allow this operation to be completed in record time.

The Calculation

There are various bits of information required to complete this task –

  • Current FTE
  • How many Hours per Week = 1FTE
  • What is the general percentage allowance for vacation over a vacation year
  • Should vacation days be rounded to that of a full time day shift (8 hours for a 40 hours week)
  • A requirement of agents for each week over the year

U-WFM will then process this information to give an allowance for vacation hours by both week and day.
In the below graph, the percentage distribution of agent requirement is plotted (orange line). What U-WFM will do if flip this line, in effect, showing a mirror image of the requirement (purple line).

Holiday-Alocation

The same principle can then be done by day, which will then distribute the weekly hours over individual days. The daily allowance can then be auto imported in to U-WFM’s vacation planner.

The Result
When the overall vacation hours are distributed over the mirror image, what happens is lower vacation allowances are plotted at busy times, higher vacation allowances are planned at quiet times helping to balance agents working hours over the year and crucially, to increase Service Level with no cost to the business.

Register your interest for access to our Free Long Term Holiday Planning tool


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WFM Recommended Process

Posted by Tim Wharfe on 18-Apr-2018 18:37:29

Introduction

When the dust settles after the implementation of a new Workforce Management system, one of the most common queries is not actually about the software at all. It is about the how and when of going from nothing to a finalised schedule.

This blog will be going through a recommended process that WFM Administrators and Resource Planners can follow in order to give everyone, business and agents the best from your hard work.

Process Cycle

There is a well defined basic process cycle that WFM Administrators generally follow.

WFM Basic Process

1. Forecast – Using the most recent historical information

2. Schedule – Create a new schedule from rules already in Workforce Management

3. Manage – Intraday management of the schedule

4. Analyse – Use most recent data to feed back to forecasting

Reasons for Process

Most businesses will want to give agents schedules a certain number of weeks in advance. This allows agents to plan their lives and maintain a healthy work/life balance. This is normally done in rolling weeks. Every week, a new week is released to agents maintaining the same length of future visibility at all times.

It is important to get the number of future weeks published right. If there is not enough, agents will not be happy. If there are too many, any changes to schedules, especially due to leavers or new starters will require the WFM administrator to re-schedule more than they would otherwise need to, increasing their workload.

Typically, although by no means a rule, agents receive around 4 weeks notice of their upcoming shifts. The length of shift notice does differ across businesses.

For these reasons it is important to robustly stick to a well defined process and follow it through consistently.

Recommended Process Table

For this example, we will be assuming that agents are receiving 4 weeks notice for their schedule and also using 4 weeks of historical data to build a forecast.

The below table shows a timeline spanning 11 weeks in total. 6 weeks in the past, the current week and 4 weeks in to the future.

 

WFM Process Table

 

The below process covers what should be worked by the WFM administrator every week.

This Week

  • Offline entry and minor schedule adjustments as required
  • Reforecast week utilising most recent historical data
  • Reschedule agents. As shifts were locked previously, only breaks and lunches may be changed
  • Republish
  • Enter offline activities as known. No forecasting or re-scheduling is required as both these weeks already have a forecast and schedules where shifts, but not breaks and lunches are locked.
  • Create new forecast
  • Create new schedule
  • Lock shifts, but not breaks and lunches
  • Publish

Week 1 (next week)

  • Reforecast week utilising most recent historical data
  • Reschedule agents. As shifts were locked previously, only breaks and lunches may be changed
  • Republish

Week 2 & 3

  • Enter offline activities as known. No forecasting or re-scheduling is required as both these weeks already have a forecast and schedules where shifts, but not breaks and lunches are locked.

Week 4

  • Create new forecast
  • Create new schedule
  • Lock shifts, but not breaks and lunches
  • Publish

If the above process is followed every week for each of the relative weeks in the future, agents will have a consistent view of their shifts and the business will have greater visibility of their expected results.

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  • Optimised scheduling
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