Throughput and achievement of SLAs is also higher in the web-based scenarios (8 percent and 4 percent respectively). Skills-based routing shows a slightly higher cost per request (3 percent), but it can result in less quantifiable benefits such as quality of response and customer perception.
Based on the results of the simulation scenarios tested, it appeared that it would be beneficial to initially employ junior, senior and technical TCCSs and route requests accordingly. The manager must keep a close watch on request input channels and request type mix in order to optimize staffing. Efficiency, utilization, throughput, and meeting SLAs all improve with a larger percentage of requests arriving via the web channel. Cost of web requests is a fraction of that for phone requests. This showed that the Practice Assistance service should be positioned as a web-based support center to the greatest extent possible.
With a larger portion of web requests, self-service increases and the need for technical CSAs will decrease as many of the technical solutions have been observed to be repeatable solutions. Further, the need for junior CSAs also decreases as easier requests are handled on a self-service basis, and practitioners will rely on more senior CSAs to help them resolve complex issues.
Using a web-based case management system means that the Practice Assistance group will be building a vast knowledge base that will make information available to practitioners on both a “push” and “pull” basis. The need for junior CSAs decreases even more dramatically with the increase of Type 3 requests. Over time, a shift toward more senior, versatile CSAs appears to be the way to balance efficiency and customer service.
Another observation is that as volume increases, it may make sense to employ CSAs who respond to requests, but are not in the front line of answering requests directly. This conclusion is drawn from the observation of thrashing that reduces efficiency as CSAs interrupt research and other activities to address requests. Finally, it appears that the proposed near-term staffing level of 12 CSAs seems to be consistent with the results of the model. As more data becomes available, the simulation model can be used on an ongoing basis to replicate current conditions and serve as a decision support tool.
As a result of simulation modeling they are keeping on track and achieving solutions to challenges resulting from explosive growth. They will continue to provide innovative service in the consulting industry.
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