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Airborne Express Ups Service Level with Staffing Solution

DENVER, CO., — Airborne Express hopes to take another step toward improving its service levels with its recent sign on to Blue Pumpkin Software's newest upgrade, its enterprise-wide, workforce management solution.

Airborne has already seen a 6 percent improvement in service levels since its initial contract with Blue Pumpkin's PrimeTime scheduling and staffing software, and the upgrade, which will include more staffing features, will enable the company to better control caller hold times.

“The more accurately you can predict your staffing needs, the better level of service you can develop for your customer,” said Greg Reynolds, vice president of customer service for Airborne.

The 50-year-old worldwide provider of time-sensitive business information including documents, letters, small packages and freight to virtually every U.S. zip code and more than 200 countries will deploy the software in all sixteen of Airborne's customer service call centers nationwide to optimally staff agents to answer the 200,000 calls Airborne receives daily.

Customers can select from a variety of services including same-day, next-morning, next-afternoon or second-day delivery, ocean service and logistics management.

The company expects PrimeTime Skills and PrimeTime Enterprise to enable the company to meet its target of 85 percent of all calls answered within 30 seconds.

PrimeTime was first chosen by the company because the software's ability to do what-if analyses allowed the company to significantly improve the efficiency of its call centers.

“We selected PrimeTime after viewing the results of our pilot evaluation where we experienced 4 to 6 percent improvement in our service levels, without increasing the number of agents. As an organization committed to serving customers' needs, this improvement is crucial,” Reynolds said.

“In the shipping business where we deal with many unpredictable factors, PrimeTime enables us to plan for the unexpected,” he said.

PrimeTime Skills leverages ACD skill-based routing technology by combining intelligent call forecasting techniques with analytical tools. Schedules make maximum use of agent skills while reducing costly overstaffing. The technology provides a closed-loop system for forecasting, scheduling and reporting that aims to meet service goals for each type of call, ensuring maximum customer service across the company's customer base.

It ensures managers have maximum visibility into their skill-based call centers with reports, service levels and schedules organized by skill. The flexibility of the system ensures that Airborne can instantly see the impact of changing agent schedules and agent skills. It also allows managers to quickly update forecasts to meet needs across agent skill types and queues.

PrimeTime Enterprise allows for more advanced and extensible functionality to help solve the challenges of managing work forces in complex environments. Additions to the product include enhanced forecasting and scheduling tools, true virtual call center capabilities, powerful management and productivity tools, flexible work rules and the industry's first true skill-based scheduling module.

“PrimeTime Enterprise transparently extends its reach across many organizational levels and multiple call centers, providing the information, workflow and technology necessary to effortlessly manage complex operations,” said Doron Aspitz, founder and CEO of Blue Pumpkin.

“With PrimeTime, they now have a powerful decision support system,” said Ofer Matan, Blue Pumpkin's chief technical officer. “Users can quickly get the data they need to track progress and adherence for individual agents, a group of agents or call centers to gain a global picture of their operations.”

After several years of rapid growth, Airborne plans to consolidate its call centers into one virtual call center. “The PrimeTime technology is so scaleable that it enables us to do whatever we want,” Reynolds said, i.e., providing for seniority scheduling, important for some of Airborne's union-based centers.

“We have to know how many people are on the phone at any time,” Reynolds said. “This [software] will allow us to plug in all the variables and see the impact, making the necessary short term adjustments.”

What we are trying to achieve is the ability to provide the highest level of service given our resources and to project future needs and services with more accuracy.

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