Brought to you by IPC Tech — Platinum Certified Mitel Support Partner specializing in connecting your business applications to optimize your communication experience.

In our last post, we discussed why effective contact center operations are critical for ensuring good customer experiences during the unsettling process of a merger or acquisition. In the post-M&A environment, organizations likely will need to integrate and consolidate contact center operations.

The success or failure of an M&A may ultimately be determined by how well the two separate entities are integrated. Even when companies involved are in the same industry, these transactions almost always result in duplicate positions, processes, resources and technology assets. Contact center operations are no exception.

Following such growth events, the new, larger company will often have two or more distinct contact center facilities with separate platforms based on different network architectures, hardware and software, along with their own management, staff and operational philosophies. These redundancies waste time, money and resources, and can create operational conflicts.

According to one recent study, 63 percent of organizations say they operate multiple contact center sites, and 80 percent of contact center agents say they must access multiple screens and systems when supporting customers. They said this disconnected technology creates a range of operational bottlenecks and ranks as the biggest contact center performance challenge.

Consolidation can resolve many of these issues. Standardization on one platform eliminates many hardware and software conflicts, which streamlines processes and enables more consistent customer service. It also generates a wide range of cost reductions through greater economies of scale. Studies suggest that consolidation efforts can reduce a company’s total customer service operating budget by up to 20 percent. Sources of savings include:

Staffing. Approximately 70 percent of contact center costs are personnel related. Pooling resources allows organization to reduce staffing levels, creating savings on recruitment, training, salaries and benefits. It also reduces the number of managers and supervisors needed for oversight.

Operations. Simplified processes lead to increased efficiency and productivity. Consolidation also enables more efficient workforce management through standardized monitoring and reporting practices.

Technology. The elimination of duplicate platforms and network resources can reduce overall IT spending by up to 20 percent. Consolidation also allows standardization on a broad range of contact center components such as customer relationship management, automatic call distributors, interactive voice response, workforce management, analytics and other agent desktop tools.

Facilities. Duplicated facilities can quickly eat into the budget. Typical costs include rent, utilities and taxes, but there are often additional costs for physical security, structured cabling, furniture and backup power supplies. Consolidation can dramatically reduce the cost of facilities on a per-agent basis.

The first step in any consolidation effort is to take an objective look at the financial and operational profiles of all contact center sites. This process will identify any unnecessary duplication of efforts, services or infrastructure, while also mapping workflows to determine if there are potential management issues. By creating a clear picture of the current operating environments, the assessment sets a baseline for assessing personnel resources, identifying necessary technology upgrades and evaluating all current facilities.

IPC Technologies has a long history of implementing and supporting contact center technologies, as well as a deep understanding of the leading workflow management techniques. We can conduct a thorough assessment of your contact center environment and use that to make recommendations for a consolidation plan that can cut costs, streamline processes and ensure a frictionless customer experience.