GMT Planet helps improve West Mids call handling

West Midlands Police has improved it’s overall call handling efficiency to 85 per cent (from 49 per cent in 2003) following the implementation of GMT Planet at the force’s contact centre.

May 18, 2006
By David Howell
Graeme Biggar

West Midlands Police has improved it’s overall call handling efficiency to 85 per cent (from 49 per cent in 2003) following the implementation of GMT Planet at the force’s contact centre.

The more accurate matching of resources to demand has helped to reduce overtime costs by 80 per cent, cutting abandoned calls from 27,000 to an average of 788 per month. Public satisfaction with call handling has also increased, from 85 per cent in May 2002 to 96 per cent in March 2006. The success led to the force winning the Public Sector Contact Centre Award 2006 at the Contact Centre Innovation of the Year awards in Glasgow

David Williams, Director of Personnel at West Midlands Police said: “We have seen an 80 per cent reduction in overtime costs and staff turnover has dropped from nearly 16 per cent to less than two per cent. There has been an immediate improvement in contact centre performance, exceeding our grade of service targets for the first time since the inception of the department.

“More importantly our staff values the opportunities that GMT Planet presents to the organisation, to deliver both high levels of performance and flexible working options. Staff morale has improved and attendance is up to 96 per cent.”

West Midlands Police central switchboard staff of 61 full and part time operators and six supervisors answered more than 2.6 million calls last year. In 2002 the force decided to replace its historic rotating shift patterns with more flexible working hours; an analysis of working patterns revealed that supervisors were spending the majority of their time resolving staffing issues and manually trying to resource against demand, while staff felt working patterns were too restrictive. In addition, overtime spending needed to be controlled.

The force opted for GMT Planet because of its strong functionality, usability and reporting strengths. The company’s web-based Employee Time Centre empowers staff to amend their availability, make time-off requests electronically and swap shifts with each other.

Simon Angove, CEO of GMT, said the company was delighted to be associated with the force’s success: “This award reflects the importance that West Midlands Police, and an increasing number of organisations, are placing on improving the work life balance of their employees, and the realisation that good staff morale directly affects attendance and performance.”

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