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What is WFM?

Christine Chapman 30-Apr-2018 13:01:36
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Definition

WFM stands for Workforce Management, but what does that mean? In a nutshell, it’s the job of getting the right agents, with the right skill in the right place at the right time. Workforce Optimisation is another term, which just takes the planning of your resources (staff) to another level, but in essence it is all Resource Planning.

 

Overview

If you are asking the question, then you are probably working in a call centre that hasn’t invested six figure sums in purchasing software to forecast how many calls are going to arrive each 15-minute interval of every day, automatically schedule flexible shifts for agents to work to meet demand, and track what those agents are doing during their shift. That said, you are probably doing all these tasks in some shape or form, but perhaps it is time for you to take a breath and think about how you approach the job of Resource Planning, and whether, before long, you may benefit from acquiring a cloud-based solution to make the job easier, such as U-WFM.

Continual process of Workforce Management

What is WFM

The WFM function can initially be divided into 3 functions:

  • Forecasting
  • Scheduling
  • Real-Time

It is the glue that binds together the 3 main perspectives of call centre management:

  • the customer
  • the staff
  • the bottom line

Good resource planning will ensure that there are enough agents on the phone to deliver a good customer experience. This in turn balances the workload of the agents, so they should neither be too quiet or too busy. The result being an efficient operation, with costs managed effectively, good customer retention/satisfaction and a happy workforce.

It is often said that WFM is both an art and a science, mathematics and algorithms play a major part in a sophisticated forecasting model, but without the common sense and business knowledge of someone who understands your company and how it operates, this will fall short of the accuracy you need to run an efficient call centre. The human element is as important as fancy footwork in Excel or WFM software, and that is where the art comes into it.

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