Call Center Openings: AfterMarket Readies Arizona Center

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The AfterMarket Co., Phoenix, a primarily inbound teleservices firm serving the direct response television industry, is to open a 390-seat call center in early October in Mesa, AZ. The 33,418-foot center will roughly triple AfterMarket's workstation capacity, the company said. The new facility will let AfterMarket handle 100 percent of its clients' call volume. The company will have three call centers with a total of 600 workstations. AfterMarket also hired Mike Denning as company president. Denning will handle the company's call center operations. CEO Steve Pittendrigh and executive vice president John Stones will focus on client service and campaign management.

Americredit, Fort Worth, TX, an independent middle-market auto-finance company, will replace its customer service center in Tempe, AZ, with a new, larger one in Chandler, AZ. Construction on the 150,000-square-foot, three-story facility began in late August, and the center is to open in March. It will launch with about 550 employees, who will be transferred from the Tempe location, and the center eventually will employ about 1,000 workers when it reaches full capacity. Americredit said it made the switch from Tempe to Chandler because it was unable to expand its existing property, where it originally opened its operations in the greater Phoenix area in 1996. Americredit also operates customer service centers in Arlington, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Charlotte, NC; and Peterborough, Ontario.

Hispanic Teleservices Corp., Houston, a bilingual customer contact service provider, opened a 540-seat call center in September in Monterrey, Mexico. It represents the company's second call center operation, the first of which is also in Monterrey. The choice of location "reflects on our confidence and satisfaction in the city of Monterrey as the ideal location to support the U.S. Hispanic market," the company said. The city provides Hispanic Teleservices with access to a large, well-educated population with bilingual speech capabilities. The facility went live the second week of September and is identical to the company's pre-existing call center operation.

PSCU Financial Services Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, which claims to be the nation's largest credit union service organization, opened a service center in Phoenix in September to serve credit unions in the western United States. The company said it expected growth among credit unions in the region. The 35,000-square-foot facility began with 80 workers and is expected to reach full capacity of about 300 in a few years, PSCU said. Phoenix was chosen for its telecommunications infrastructure, educated population and climate, the company said. The new facility is part of a company-wide restructuring, announced in May 2001, that included consolidation of four smaller service centers around the nation. Many employees at the consolidated centers have relocated to the company's St. Petersburg or Phoenix locations. PSCU serves about 500 credit unions and 6.5 million credit and debit cardholders nationally and processes 10 million consumer inquiries annually. That volume is expected to grow to 20 million in two to three years, PSCU said.


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