Workforce Management Feature Article
June 20, 2011
Pipkin Workforce Management Brings Focus Back to Workforce Management
By Chris DiMarco, TMCnet Managing Editor
It’s rare these days that you find a call center software company that’s totally devoted to providing workforce management utilities. Given that just about every major call center software provider provides full suite of customer service software, it’s easy to find a jack of all trades without finding an ace of one. Pipkin workforce management is one of those Aces and at this year’s Call Center week in Las Vegas TMC (News - Alert) had a chance to catch up with the company and discuss some of the features that make their product stand out.
Pipkin has been around since 1983 and has been entirely self owned the entire time. As a small company, Pipkin deployments have a speed to market much faster than with the big guys. The haste is accomplished because there’s no development cycle to stop distribution, as Pipkin rolls out advancements, customer will get them as soon as possible. The solutions can scale from 25 agents to thousands and, given the right conditions, can be up and running in a month.
Like most workforce management suites, Pipkin is a primarily hosted on, although they do offer premised based alternatives at the request of some of their clients. “I’d say were about 80 percent hosted 20 percent premise,” said regional sales manager Steve Johnson (News - Alert). “it’s all about operational expense rather than capital expense, so for hosted solutions we have no long term contracts, if you don’t want to keep using it you don’t have to.”
Given how hot the home agent trend is in the call center space currently, TMC asked Pipkin what they’re doing to support that initiative. The company offers additional tools designed to help managers keep an eye on the diffuse workforces inherent in a home agent scenario. Pipkin has a number of modules designed for at home agents that can quickly calculate requirements as required by management. This allows agents to build or bid on schedules that appeal to them as long as they fit criteria set by supervisors.
“Say for example after 4 hours you require workers to take a break, the system has the intelligence to automatically add the break as staff is trying to bid on their schedule. Any number of rules can be generated to that effect,” Johnson said. “Here’s a segment of the market that’s untapped. Although you have outsourced agents it makes more sense to home source. We want to be able to support this section as it continues to grow.”
In keeping with their desire to corner the home agent market, the solution can also integrate with an existing WFM, allowing customers to utilize their correct data while the Pipkin suite handles agent schedules and sets rules about shifts. .
Chris DiMarco is a Web Editor for TMCnet. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining TMC Chris worked with e-commerce provider Suresource as a contact center representative and development analyst. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page. Follow him on Twitter @cpdimarco.
Edited by Rich Steeves