Improving response times

Devon & Cornwall Constabulary witnessed a significant improvement in response times to calls on Halloween and Bonfire Night as a result of the installation of Q-Max Workforce Management software in its call centre in April 2005.

Dec 15, 2005
By David Howell
Graeme Biggar

Devon & Cornwall Constabulary witnessed a significant improvement in response times to calls on Halloween and Bonfire Night as a result of the installation of Q-Max Workforce Management software in its call centre in April 2005.

On Monday 31 October 2005, Halloween, more than double the number of calls to the call centre were answered in under 30 seconds, compared to the previous year. Mark Schofield, Contact Centre Manager at the Force said: “By using Q-Max to establish correct staffing levels we were ready to deal with the except-ional number of calls into the centre on this particular Monday night and the same was true for 5 November. We used data from last year and put that into Q-Max to produce an accurate work-plan for the hours from 6pm and 10pm this year. The results were astonishing and most importantly Q-Max also gave us the information required to justify the cost of additional people during that four-hour period. It is a great evidential tool from a business point of view.”

Q-Max Workforce Management software calculates the number of people required to respond to calls into a contact centre for every 15-minute period.

The system ensures that the centre is staffed to meet demand, while proactively managing breaks and other off-phone activity in addition to holiday and overtime.

Mr Schofield said: “We looked at several different workforce management systems. But Q-Max was chosen as it was easy to understand and would do the job required, simply and with maximum effect. We were also impressed by the practical knowledge of call centres of all the people within the Q-Max organisation. It is almost a passion for them to make life easier for those involved in staff scheduling and resourcing.”

The Force plan to make other contact points available to the public for example email and SMS messages and Q-Max will be extended to deal with the resources required to deal with these new media routes. The intention is also to extend its use to the main switchboard and the Force’s control room.

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