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Financial Insights

The Primary Matters Contact Center Guide® Identified by Financial Insights as an Effective Management Tool

Operational Model Helps to Reduce Risk, Speed Decision Making


Tiburon, CA -January 23, 2003- A new Strategy Report prepared by Financial Insights, an IDC Company, identifies the Primary Matters Contact Center Guide® (The Guide) as a tool that can be used to speed the evaluation of the many investment alternatives available to contact center management.

The report, "Tuning the Call Center: Evaluating Alternative Performance Enhancing Investments," describes the call center as a "significant ongoing operating cost for the financial services firm. Workforce Management software, available from companies such as Blue Pumpkin and Aspect, addresses the variables related to staffing for peaks and valleys in contact volume and duration, but fail to evaluate the value of other contact center investments such as technology and process change."

"For example, what would be the impact of retaining key customer contact representatives and their experiences for an additional year? What could be the impact of acquiring new labor-saving or performance-enhancing technology? If the marketing campaign for retirement planning is successful, what might the impact on the center be? If a new investment were to be made in the center, what would the spending budget look like? These are just some of the questions that require exploration before any investment is undertaken, whether it is in capital equipment, marketing, facilities, or human resource development," the report says.

Tom Richards, Financial Insights Analyst, reports that "prior to the availability of integrated operations models, firms were left with developing spreadsheets in-house that model the center. Most of these efforts have been driven by budget cycle rather than by operations and have required several years of effort to build. Few are ever completed."

"Primary Matters offers The Guide, which is an activity-based model rather than a simulation model. A patent is pending for templates included in the model that define what drives personnel and other resource costs. The model adds discrete resources as required to maintain service levels. By reporting the additional resource needed, the model identifies the bottleneck created and, more importantly, the need for additional resource." 

Additionally, "The Guide is designed to explore the nearly infinite combinations of investments and workflow that can impact performance. Because The Guide is activity based, it is not restricted to analyzing contact center activity; it can model nearly any operating environment that is transaction and resource intensive."

Mary Jo Kulp, Founder and President, Primary Matters, is pleased with Financial Insights conclusions. " They point out that the idea here is not just to forecast the future, but to sort through the many combinations and assumptions at a high enough level to identify the most productive few to pursue in detail."

Financial Insights also expects that such operational frameworks "will become important to software vendors as techniques for connecting operating statistics and assumptions to software and equipment costs to produce both total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) analyses. The framework makes the task of modeling a solution reasonably straightforward and is certainly more comprehensive than most vendor-provided ROI models."

'Tuning the Call Center: Evaluating Alternative Performance Enhancing Investments' concludes that activity-based models "can drive workflow and short-term cost-cutting decisions that staffing models cannot. And because they are activity-based, they can be used to model nearly any operational function that is activity, task and resource based.

Information on obtaining a complete copy of the report can be found on the Financial Insights' Web site

About Financial Insights

Financial Insights, an IDC Company, was formed in November, 2002 by combining Meridien Research and IDC's Financial Services Advisory Business. Financial Insights provides industry business leaders with informed opinions on the technologies required to create a competitive advantage. Financial Insights research covers topics of strategic importance to banks, insurance companies, asset management firms, securities brokerages, and diversified financial institutions globally.

About Primary Matters, Inc.

Primary Matters, Inc. provides software products and services which support planning decisions and business impact analysis in virtually any operationally intensive business environment. Its flagship product, The Primary Matters Contact Center Guide® is activity based, content rich software that uncovers underlying costs of customer contact centers and other corporate functions such as sales groups, field organizations, technical support groups and internal help desks. With The Guide, business goals are linked to the resource requirements needed to meet these goals. For more information, contact Cate Eranthe of Primary Matters on (707) 833-1564.


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