Carlson Taps IEX for Staffing Management

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Carlson Hospitality Worldwide has switched to IEX's TotalView workforce management program in an effort to increase forecasting accuracy and integrate its disparate call centers.

The subsidiary of Carlson Companies Inc., Minneapolis, which operates hotels, restaurants throughout the world, and a cruise line, had been using a different workforce management system, which executives declined to name, to coordinate call center activities, but the system did not deliver the accuracy needed for its guest reservation activities, said the company in a written statement. It also failed to integrate the company's two call centers, located in Albuquerque, NM, and Omaha, NE, into one cohesive network.

"Previously, Carlson Hospitality was using a workforce management system that did not allow a two-way interface between its two call centers," said Debbie May, vice president of call center products at IEX. "TotalView gives Carlson the option of coordinating the activities of its two call centers from one location."

The 350 service agents at the company's two call centers field 20,000 call per day.

The company's goals were to reduce staffing costs, provide more accurate forecasting and long-range planning and boost the quality of call center service to its guests.

We needed a system that would maximize our labor resources by creating a more efficient call center, said Christine Brosnahan, director of technology systems and support with Carlson Hospitality Worldwide.

The TotalView system includes a comprehensive suite of tools for forecasting short- and long-term call volumes, staff planning and database maintenance. It also has advanced client-server technology and has Microsoft Windows user interface. It is adaptable to single- or-multi-site call centers.

The TotalView system allows Carlson managers to achieve consistent service levels and to respond to changing conditions with schedules that can be easily created and modified. IEX officials also claim that using TotalView will maximize productivity through more flexible and efficient scheduling and will improve operational controls with analysis of call center activities and performance.

"Just using TotalView's Intraday Management Feature to adjust staffing levels during the day, based on call volume, has allowed us to realize a 3 percent savings in labor costs," Brosnahan said.

According to Brosnahan, the IEX TotalView system has reduced down time and allowed the company to handle a growing volume of calls with an average response time of 20 seconds or less.

Carlson Hospitality Worldwide operates Radisson Hotels Worldwide, Country Inns and Suites by Carlson, Regent International Hotels and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises.

The restaurants operated by Carlson Hospitality include TGI Friday's, Friday's Front Row Sports Grill, Friday's American Bar, Italianni's, Star Canyon and AquaKnox.

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