Package eases call center management

Blue Pumpkin Software Inc. has bolstered its workforce management software lineup to help users more effectively administer call centre operations.

The software maker’s Workforce Optimization Suite pools two new performance-based tools – Activity Manager, which tracks how call center employees spend their time, and Advisor, which highlights agents’ successes and problem areas – with Blue Pumpkin’s existing scheduling applications, Planner and Director-Enterprise.

Combined, the modules tackle employee-management processes including long-range human resource planning, budgeting, employee scheduling, productivity assessment, payroll integration and performance measurement, Blue Pumpkin says.

The new modules focus on employee productivity. They measure and monitor what call center employees are doing when they are logged on – which tasks an agent spends the most time on, excels at or is neglecting, for example. With Activity Manager, companies can determine if agents spend their time well and adhere to their schedules or need time-management assistance.

The Advisor modules let employees track their own performance against management’s objectives. A dashboard interface highlights strengths and weaknesses.

“Blue Pumpkin helps us lower our people costs and increase productivity by giving us visibility into our workforce,” says Robert Brashear, contact centre director for Musician’s Friend, a direct marketer of music gear in Medford, Ore. The Activity Manager application gives a real-time picture of the workday and how hours are being spent, Brashear says.

Existing Blue Pumpkin scheduling modules help managers make sure they don’t wind up with too much or too little coverage in the call centre. The software uses historical data – such as the number and type of customer calls and e-mail messages received – to help managers align agents’ skill sets and scheduling preferences with business requirements.

Blue Pumpkin Workforce Optimization Suite includes Planner, Director-Enterprise, Activity Manager and Advisor. Pricing for software licenses ranges from about US$200 per user to $1,000 per user depending on the modules purchased.

Blue Pumpkin: