ASG Reports Results With Convergys Acquisition

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SAN FRANCISCO--ASG, a Swedish-based transportation and logistics company, announced the results of its three-month teleservices test at the ATA's annual conference here Tuesday.

The test, which was completed by Swedish customer management provider Exit Marketing, showed a 15.5 percent increase in growth and a 17 percent increase in profits. This compares to the Swedish transportation industry's market growth this year of 0.5 percent. Exit Marketing, Stockholm, was bought this month by Convergys, Cincinnati, formerly CBIS and Matrixx Marketing.

"So far, ASG is very pleased," said spokesman Jonas Berggrem. "The partnership has given us a head start in outbound and inbound operations."

ASG decided to outsource all of its call center operations to Exit, which will maintain its name after the completion of the acquisition, because it was suffering from insufficient growth, negative development in price levels and "nonexistent" customer loyalty. The company developed its relationship with Exit as personal visits to customers and telesales failed.

"Our telesales agents were not dedicated and shared customers with our field sales recruitment department," Berggrem said, adding that company management had to decide whether or not to centralize or decentralize its call center operations, to build a call center or to buy one. "The goal was to maintain quality standards."

Out of the negotiations came a partnership in which Exit's call center agents receive a commission from the ASG sales they make and Exit management share the profits.

"The 100 percent commission appealed to us because it reduced risk. However, if this failed, we might have been sitting ducks," Berggrem said.

"In terms of what they wanted, a decentralized operation did not make sense," said Exit president Ewa Groppfeldt. "We wanted them to keep some of their stuff in the solution. A centralized call center in terms of management resources and time was what was decided upon."

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