Yealink UK’s managing director, Andrew Roberts, credits the generally poor European economy’s performance-price ratios with how difficult it is to get telecoms and IT managers to commit to new capital expenditure.
In fact, Robert says, these days projects which were essentially rubber-stamped with little debate a few years ago now merit evaluation and scrutiny. As he says, even issues such as longstanding brand loyalty are coming under the green eyeshade exam -- “We’re paying more for this service why, exactly?” is heard far more frequently now.
As Roberts said recently, they’re looking to see if a big brand name really does add value or if they’re perhaps instead simply paying for a costly marketing and operational overhead.
In these economic times a good way to stand out from the herd of vendors and suppliers is to be “all things to all people,” as a recent blog post from appliance deployment provider NEI points out. In other words, if you can lead on cost, customer service and product innovation in supply chain management, well, that’s a heck of an advantage you’d have over your competition.
At the recent CSCMP conference in Philadelphia, NEI officials saw the 2011 Trends and Issues in Logistics and Transportation Study and gleaned three trends they see as becoming increasingly important in “customer-focused” supply chain management:
Segmented Supply Chains. No, this isn’t a new, novel concept, but NEI officials say the study shows that firms surveyed had “an average of more than three unique supply chains.” In fact, half of the 700 firms surveyed told researchers that they had “moved from a focused competitive strategy” to seeking to lead in a number of categories. And it’s probably no coincidence, as NEI officials point out, that firms adopting this approach had the highest average number of supply chains. NEI officials conclude that there’s a good chance, given the results, that “the various supply chains enable a company to focus on different strategies in different segments.”
Hosted VoIP company RealLinx offers services at a “low monthly price with our fully-managed SecurityLinx” product, promising that “your company will see ROI in the first month of deployment or we will gladly refund your money.”
The No. 1 feature of the product, at least as far as attractiveness goes, is that it promises to stop lost employee productivity to Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and other such sites.
It’s called “Work Internet Abuse,” company officials say, adding that it “is robbing your company of valuable time and money. An average of 25 to 30 percent of each employee's workday is spent surfing things that have nothing to do with work... When employees do not have the option to play, they work.”
Great idea for a column from Call Center Helper: Ask six experts what the best return on investment is from implementing speech analytics in contact centers.
Reducing avoidable contact: As told by Craig Pumfrey, director of Marketing & Communications, NICE Systems EMEA, a service center project created search parameters to automatically “listen” for words and phrases in every inbound customer call that could be used during an avoidable contact, such as “parking fine” or “I called last week.” These interactions were then indexed and checked against the set parameters and wherever a match was found the call was flagged for the team to review the reason for the enquiry.
Deployment methods: According to Duncan White, managing director, horizon2, the potential of speech analytics is not being realized because the return on investment is generally not compelling enough. The main problem is that speech analytics is being promoted as a discrete technology within the contact center or customer operations environment rather than a strategic enabler at an organizational level.
Deployed in the right way, speech analytics should be used to re-engineer core processes such as quality management. Use speech analytics in a supporting role for organizational change.