Telecom Cost Management

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May 18, 2011

Telecom Cost Management: Need Help Overcoming Deficiencies In Your Call Center Queuing Models?

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Officials of the HTLT Hills B Optimizer Pro for call center management ask: Do your resource forecasts result in optimal projection levels? Are your call center staff schedules and cost projections usually within objective accuracy levels? And does your current system allow you to easily perform ‘What if’ exercises?

If you answered “yes” to all those, then congratulations, you’re doing an aces job. But if you think you could use a bit of help getting to “yes,” then you might want to check out  HTLT’s Hills-B Optimizer Pro (HBO Pro) to, in company officials’ words, “overcome deficiencies associated with the use of Erlang-C and other classic queuing models.”

The tool is pitched by company officials as a way to achieve realistic” results when performing “the four major steps involved with effective call center management.”

Most Workforce Management Systems today use the Erlang-C model for staffing projections, but Erlang-C “cannot be used for all of the ‘what if’ scenarios that address information on variability and extremes, because the results provided by the model are only averages of key performance measures,” HTLT officials say.

So they’re touting their HBO Pro as a way to get accurate resource forecasts, desired service levels, and associated staffing levels to develop “staffing schedules based upon various optimization criteria and the operating rules within your call center environment,” because it, in company officials’ words, “adds reality” to the four major steps involved with call center management” --  realistic forecasting and planning, accurate line or Q slots requirements, reality-based queuing and optimized scheduling.

And hey, reality’s important -- “When the call arrival rate exceeds the capacity of agents to answer them, in reality, some calls will be lost or abandoned,” as HTLT officials correctly say, adding that whereas Erlang-C assumes the queue will get longer and longer with time, “experience has shown that Erlang-C predicts higher average speed of answer and poorer service levels than those found in reality.”

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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